MANILA - The lawyer who filed charges of crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte said he is confident that the International Criminal Court will take notice of what he believes to be the chief executive's admission of guilt on extrajudicial killings.
Speaking to ANC Sunday, lawyer Jude Sabio said Duterte's recent pronouncement that his "only sin" is extrajudicial killings is admissible before the international tribunal because it constitutes a "declaration against interest."
"He has admitted or confessed to the crime of extrajudicial executions, and I think the ICC will consider this admission very seriously considering the communication before it," said Sabio, adding that this "admission" will boost evidence they submitted.
Sabio earlier said he will send a formal communication to the ICC to update the complaint he filed months ago, although the lawyer noted that the Netherlands-based tribunal already has its own news monitoring.
Malacañang had reiterated that Duterte's statement was not an admission of guilt and the President's detractors are just "twisting" his words to make it appear that he admitted ordering killings under the war on drugs.
The ICC had already initiated a preliminary examination on the communication filed by Sabio, accusing Duterte of crimes against humanity under his narcotics crackdown.
After this, the Philippine government notified the UN Secretary General of its decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty. Some opposition lawmakers have questioned this move before the Supreme Court.