(Eagle News)–Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday, Jan. 18, denied she had a hand in the case filed by Edgard Matobato, through his lawyer Jude Sabio, against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Matobato has claimed he was a member of the Davao Death Squad formed to kill in the city when Duterte was mayor.
“Jude Sabio says I was behind the case filed by Edgar Matobato with the Ombudsman against Duterte. ‘Behind’ is such a loaded term. It implies that the charges filed were fabricated,” De Lima said.
According to De Lima, she merely “encouraged and helped Matobato file the charges because he is the person who witnessed the murders he and others with him committed on Duterte’s orders.”
She said there was “nothing illegal or wrong” with helping.
“I don’t know what Jude Sabio hopes to achieve with his supposed ‘revelation’, but everybody already knows I was the one who presented Matobato to testify before the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee,” De Lima said, as she slammed Sabio for withdrawing the case for crimes against humanity against Duterte before the International Criminal Court.
“Alam mo naman na kahit pagbabaligtarin pa ang testimonya ni Matobato, pinaninindigan nya na ang kanyang mga sinabi ay pawang katotohanan lamang. Ikaw lang naman ang may problema sa paninindigan, hindi si Matobato, hindi ako,” she said.
“That is why I submitted my own Communication to the ICC in October 2017 – four months before ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the start of a preliminary examination on the Philippine situation – to complement Sabio’s, former [Senator Antonio Trillanes’], and former [Congressman Gary Alejano]’s Communications,” she added.
Earlier, the Palace hailed Sabio’s decision to withdraw the complaint, saying that “lies can only be sustained for some time.”
“Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV “must be squirming in his disgraced retirement” after lawyer Jude Sabio withdrew the complaint for crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court,” the Palace had said.