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Colmenares: Sabio withdrawal won’t affect ICC case against Duterte

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Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares on Wednesday reiterated that the case against President Rodrigo Duterte in the International Criminal Court (ICC) will continue despite the withdrawal of lawyer Jude Sabio, asserting that the evidence presented by the families of extrajudicial killings (EJK) victims is “very strong.”

“The Preliminary Examination will continue despite Atty. Sabio’s withdrawal because it is not the only case pending in the ICC,” the former Bayan Muna lawmaker said.

Colmenares said the case filed by families of EJK victims was very strong as it is supported by affidavits of witnesses, government reports, official Philippine National Police (PNP) statistics and Duterte’s own admission of ordering the killings.

“Atty. Sabio’s communication was mainly centered on the testimonies of Matobato and Lascanas on Pres. Duterte’s EJK while he was mayor of Davao. His allegations on EJKs after Pres. Duterte became president heavily relied on reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International,” he noted.

“On the other hand, the evidence in the case of Rise Up et al vs. Duterte are direct evidence by witnesses and the families of the victims themselves,” Colmenares said.

“This case is sufficient to assure the continuation of the case and the indictment of Pres. Duterte in the ICC,” he added.

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