MANILA- "Everyone has the right to file a case."
This was the reaction of Vice President Leni Robredo when asked about the planned International Criminal Court case to be filed by the camp of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato against President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Ako naman kasi, lahat may karapatan mag-file ng kaso," she told reporters in Tarlac on Monday.
(I believe everyone has the right to file a case.)
Robredo said that from what she knows, the ICC will only take cognizance of the case against Duterte if there was evidence that nothing had been done about alleged human rights violations in the country.
"So iyong mga paratang patungkol sa violation of human rights, parang may recognition sila (ICC) na dapat iyong mag-aksyon tayo. Ang puwede lang silang mag-take jurisdiction or cognizance, kung hindi tayo umaksyon," she said.
(I think the ICC has a recognition that accusations regarding the violation of human rights should be acted upon by the government. They can only take jurisdiction or cognizance if we don't act.)
"So kung ma-prove ng mga abogado niya na hindi tayo magta-take action, iyong gustong sabihin, pwedeng pumasok iyong ICC," she added.
(If his lawyers can prove that we will not take action, that can go to the ICC.)
Matobato’s lawyer Jude Sabio said he is already preparing the cases against Duterte to be filed at the ICC.
Sabio said he will fly to The Netherlands this month to charge Duterte of “crimes against humanity."
Matobato previously linked Duterte to the alleged Davao Death Squad, supposedly responsible for alleged extrajudicial killings in Davao City.
Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo last week dismissed as propaganda plans of Matobato's camp to charge Duterte before the ICC.
“Definitely no basis. Ano propaganda lang yun as usual. Baka nga hindi entertainin yun eh…Walang basis eh. Syempre pag nag-file ka kailangan may dokumento ka, may pruweba ka [It might even be snubbed. There is no basis. If you have to file a case, you must have documents, proof to back you up],” Panelo said.