ICC case vs Duterte getting support, says Matobato lawyer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2017 04:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2017 04:39 PM

MANILA - The lawyer of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato is heading to The Netherlands to file a case against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC), and he insists that the trip is funded only by supporters, not politicians.

Atty. Jude Sabio is already preparing the cases of “crimes against humanity” against the President which he plans to submit before the international tribunal by the this month's end or the early part of April. 

It is a charge that a presidential aide has dismissed as "propaganda."

The ICC has jurisdiction over 124 countries and can prosecute individuals, not countries, that may have committed crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. Enforced through the Rome Statute in 2002, the Philippines was one of its first signatories in Asia.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart on Tuesday, Sabio said their camp is receiving support from many different people, including those who contribute monetary help.

"You will be amazed that so many individuals believe in Matobato, in the same way that many individuals support President Duterte. It’s their right to help, contribute," he said.

"As of now, there are even people abroad who are willing to assist and support me when I go to The Hague, and are willing to give me moral support in the International [Criminal] Court," he added.

Asked if there are politicians who are pitching in the fund, Sabio said "no politicians as of now."

Sabio said Senator Antonio Trillanes, who presented Matobato in a Senate inquiry last year and facilitated the public confession of retired Davao cop Arturo Lascañas last month, "is only giving security to Matobato."

Matobato previously linked Duterte to the alleged Davao Death Squad, saying the long-time local executive is responsible for alleged extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

According to Sabio, Matobato is currently staying in a "sanctuary" of a religious group.