Duterte’s admission of responsibility is factual evidence, lawyer says

Julius Yap was 27 when he was killed in anti-drug war operation in Bulacan. (Photo by A.M. Umil/Bulatlat)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that extrajudicial killings is his “only sin” has “legal and moral implications.”

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers chairperson Neri Colmenares said President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that extrajudicial killings is his “only sin” has “legal and moral implications” that may be used as evidence against him.

“What are your sins? Ako? Sabi ko nga sa military, ano kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako dyan ni piso? Did I prosecute somebody na pinakulong ko? Ang kasalanan ko lang ‘yung mga extrajudicial killing,” (What are your sins? Me? I have asked the military what I did wrong. Did I ever steal even a peso? Did I prosecute somebody that I jailed? My only sin is the extrajudicial killing) said Duterte during a recent speech in Malacañang.

In a tweet, Colmenares said he was glad of Duterte’s own admission, which is yet another factual evidence against him, on top of the many pieces of evidence that they have submitted before the International Criminal Court to prove that these drug-related killings are indeed state-sponsored.

Colmenares is the lead counsel of the relatives of victims of the deadly anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration in the complaint-communication submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC on the killings spree here.

Read: Kin of ’Tokhang’ victims file raps vs. Duterte before ICC

In the complaint-communication, the relatives elaborated how these drug-related killings are state-sponsored. They argued that Duterte, “being the most senior leader,” is the “most responsible” for the widespread and systematic attacks against civilians.

Why kin of drug war victims charged Duterte for mass murder before ICC

Police reports claimed that there were only 4,000 killed due to Duterte’s bloody war against illegal drugs. However, reports from media and human rights organizations reveal that the toll might go as high as 23,000.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the president was “not serious” in his recent admission.

Colmenares quipped, “President Duterte is beyond salvation.” ()

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