Senator Leila De Lima expressed sadness over the death of abogado Jude Sabio, who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2017.
In a statement Friday (April 16), De Lima said she feels “sorry” about Sabio’s death. The abogado reportedly died after suffering a stroke but also tested positive for COVID-19.
“As Sen. Sonny Trillanes has said, he was a good man. When I first met him in 2016, he struck me as a principled lawyer with conviction and a fiery spirit,” the senator said.
“But something went wrong. His weakness apparently exploited by the dark forces. Sad… May his soul now rest in peace,” De Lima added.
Sabio initially became known as the abogado of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who claimed to be a member of the Davao death squad (DDS) from 1998 to 2013.
Matobato said the group was formed by Duterte when he was mayor of Davao City.
In April 2017, Sabio filed a complaint against Duterte before the ICC for allegedly committing crimes against humanity in connection with the war on drugs.
The allegations prompted then-ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to conduct a preliminary examination. As a result of the probe, Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing from the ICC.
Citing financial constraints, Sabio announced in January 2020 his withdrawal of the communication filed against Duterte before the ICC.