Lawyer who filed ICC case vs Duterte dies

Lawyer who filed ICC case vs Duterte dies

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Jude Josue Sabio, who filed a complaint against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2017 only to withdraw it three years later, died last Tuesday.

“It is with a sad note that I announced that attorney Jude Sabio passed away yesterday, April 13, at 4:30 a.m. and his remains will be cremated today April 14,” lawyer Larry Gadon said yesterday.

He added that Sabio “died of stroke but he was also tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019.”

Former senator Antonio Trillanes VI also posted this tweet: “Atty. Jude Sabio was a good man, but like all of us he had a vulnerability. May he rest in peace.”

Sabio hit the headlines in 2017 when he surfaced as the lawyer of alleged 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, then mayor of Davao City.

In April 2017, Sabio brought these accusations before the ICC to pin the President down for allegedly committing crimes against humanity as a result of the war on drugs.

The communication he filed before The Hague, Netherlands was titled “The Situation of Mass Murder in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte: The Mass Murderer.”

But in January 2020, Sabio said he would withdraw the communication filed before the ICC because the case against Duterte was merely political propaganda.

He also complained that he did not receive the financial support he was promised for representing Matobato.

According to the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, no communication before them can be withdrawn and that any withdrawal “would have no impact” on its preliminary examination.

In December 2020, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said their office “anticipated reaching a decision on whether to seek authorization to open an investigation by the first half of 2021.”

Later reports said Bensouda is set to be replaced, possibly by a British lawyer, in June this year.

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