MANILA- A lawyer said Friday he will formally inform the International Criminal Court that President Rodrigo Duterte made a statement effectively admitting that he was behind extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
This, after the President in a speech Friday said extrajudicial killings was his "only sin."
Lawyer Jude Sabio Sabio said the ICC has its own monitoring of news about the Philippines but he will still send a formal communication to update the complaint he filed before the Netherlands-based tribunal.
Sabio filed the first communication or complaint before the ICC on the alleged extrajudicial killings in Davao City when President Duterte was still mayor.
“Magpadala ako ng formal communication sa ICC, kahit alam natin na ang ICC ay may instant access through media and electronic means to Duterte’s public statement,” he said.
(I will send a formal communication to the ICC even though I am aware that the ICC has instant access to Duterte's public statement through the media and electronic means.)
Sabio said the statement of the President will further pin him down on the crimes against humanity complaints, despite the clarification later on issued by Malacañang.
“Mas lalong hinukay ni Duterte ang kanyang libingan sa ICC, dahil may public confession na siya mismo tungkol sa kanyang kasalanan patungkol sa sistema ng death squad killings mula pa sa Davao.”
(Duterte dug his own grave at the ICC because he made a public confession implicating himself in the system of death squad killings starting from Davao.)
Malacañang on Friday said the President must not be talking seriously when he made the statement.
“Alam mo naman si Presidente, ano. Hindi na naman iyan seryoso ‘no… I don’t think na ang konteksto niyan ay literal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told dzRH.
(You know the President. We know he was not serious about it... I don't think that should be taken literally.)
The Commission on Human Rights meantime said that even if the Palace made clarifications, it will still include the statements of the President in their on-going investigation on extrajudicial killings.
"We take everything into account, we do seriously look into all relevant matters involving all statements made by officials and parties," CHR Spokesperson Jackie De Guia said.
"Human life is not a joking matter and it should not be underestimated nor undervalued," she added.