Hontiveros ‘saddened’ by inclusion of colleagues in ICC complaint

MANILA — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said that she was saddened to hear that two of her colleagues in the Senate were included in the complaint filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands.

To recall, a 77-page complaint was filed by Jude Sabio, the lawyer of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, against Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and 11 senior government officials, including Senators Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano, for crimes against humanity.

The complained noted that Pres. Duterte allegedly violated the Articles of the Rome Statute through commission of mass murder or extrajudicial executions during his term as Davao City mayor and now President of the Philippines through his aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.

Cayetano is a staunch ally of Pres. Duterte. Gordon, on the other hand, was been accused of being biased in facilitating Senate hearings on alleged extrajudicial killings.

Some senators, such as Sen. Panfilo Lacson, however, said that the complaint was without merit because they came from “polluted sources and perjured witnesses” referring to retired cop Arturo Lascañas and hitman Edgar Matobato.

“I am saddened that some members of the Senate of the Philippines were included in the communication of information filed before the ICC,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

She, meanwhile, expressed hope that her colleagues will be able to appropriately respond to the accusations.

“I hope that they will respond to these accusations appropriately and satisfactorily,” she added.

The neophyte senator explained that it will be proper for those accused to recognize the ICC processes accurately and accord it due respect as the Philippines is a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

“The Philippines is part of a global community joined by the shared respect for democracy, human rights and dignity. We have an obligation to subject our public policies and even our leaders to scrutiny, in the same way that we may hold accountable the actions of other nation-states,” Hontiveros said. Azer N. Parrocha/PNA

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