Philippine president accused of mass murder in The Hague

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is faced with a complaint accusing him of mass murder and crimes against humanity brought in at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by a Filipino lawyer, the first publicly known filing to this court against Duterte,

The 77-page filing by Jude Sabio blames Duterte for “a terrifying, gruesome and disastrous commission of extra-judicial killings,” beginning when he was mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines and continuing during his term as president, alleging that Duterte was directly or indirectly responsible for 9,400 deaths since 1988.

The complaint is based on reports of human rights groups, Duterte’s own public admissions that he killed, media reports and the testimony of Sabio’s client, Edgar Matobato, a man who testified in the Philippines senate that he was part of a death squad that operated on Duterte’s orders. It also refers to the testimony from retired police officer Arturo Lascanas, another hit man who said he personally killed “about 200 people” on direct orders from then-mayor Duterte.

The complaint to the ICC against Duterte and government officials called for an investigation, arrest warrants and a trial. It is not clear, however, whether the filing will lead to an indictment, as the court has a modest record of actually bringing leaders to justice.

A spokesman for Duterte dismissed the complaint as “false and politically motivated,” calling it a “cynical effort to undermine, embarrass and shame the president.”

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is faced with a complaint accusing him of mass murder and crimes against humanity brought in at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by a Filipino lawyer, the first publicly known filing to this court against Duterte, The 77-page filing by Jude Sabio blames Duterte for “a terrifying, gruesome and disastrous commission of extra-judicial killings,” beginning when he was mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines and continuing during his term as president, alleging that Duterte was directly or indirectly responsible for 9,400 deaths since 1988. The complaint is based on reports of...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is faced with a complaint accusing him of mass murder and crimes against humanity brought in at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague by a Filipino lawyer, the first publicly known filing to this court against Duterte,

The 77-page filing by Jude Sabio blames Duterte for “a terrifying, gruesome and disastrous commission of extra-judicial killings,” beginning when he was mayor of Davao City in the southern Philippines and continuing during his term as president, alleging that Duterte was directly or indirectly responsible for 9,400 deaths since 1988.

The complaint is based on reports of human rights groups, Duterte’s own public admissions that he killed, media reports and the testimony of Sabio’s client, Edgar Matobato, a man who testified in the Philippines senate that he was part of a death squad that operated on Duterte’s orders. It also refers to the testimony from retired police officer Arturo Lascanas, another hit man who said he personally killed “about 200 people” on direct orders from then-mayor Duterte.

The complaint to the ICC against Duterte and government officials called for an investigation, arrest warrants and a trial. It is not clear, however, whether the filing will lead to an indictment, as the court has a modest record of actually bringing leaders to justice.

A spokesman for Duterte dismissed the complaint as “false and politically motivated,” calling it a “cynical effort to undermine, embarrass and shame the president.”

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