Supplemental communication can’t cure ‘intrinsically flawed’ initial complaint – Panelo

MANILA-- Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said the supplemental complaint filed by two Magdalo lawmakers before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte only showed that the initial complaint was intrinsically flawed even as he stressed that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case in the first place.

As regards the recent supplemental complaint filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Representative Gary Alejano before the ICC against the President, their belated and remedial effort only goes to show that their initial complaint was based merely on hearsay and unsubstantiated allegations, the Palace official said in a statement.

Unfortunately for the misguided lawmakers, they cannot hope to cure a complaint which is intrinsically flawed and, worse, was filed before a tribunal that does not even have jurisdiction in the first place. It should be remembered that the ICC is a court of last resort and filing a case before it can only be resorted to after all domestic legal remedies are fully exhausted, Panelo said.

Earlier, Alejano and Trillanes filed the supplemental complaint to support the April 24 complaint filed by lawyer Jude Sabio against Duterte and his senior officials at the ICC on allegations of crimes against humanity in relation to his administration's nationwide crackdown on narcotics.

Sabio, who is the lawyer of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, alleged in his 77-page complaint that the President has "repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously" committed crimes against humanity.

The supplemental communication filed by Alejano and Trillanes purportedly affirms the veracity of Sabio's allegations and supposedly contains additional information to prove allegations on the widespread and systematic extrajudicial killings in the country.

We further stress the urgent need to conduct a preliminary examination on the allegations contained herein to provide a glimmer of hope for the thousands of victims that Duterte's impunity would soon end," Alejano and Trillanes said.

The move came after lawmakers at the House of Representatives dismissed last month an impeachment complaint filed by Alejano against Duterte for lack of sufficiency in substance.

Source: Philippines News Agency