Trillanes to Duterte: No one is above the law

By Kristine Joy Patag

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The staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte said that the development at the International Criminal Court on allegations against the chief executive is "the first step for the victims' quest for victims." Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines — With the International Criminal Court set to conduct "preliminary examination" on claims against him, President Rodrigo Duterte should know now that he cannot trump the law, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said on Thursday.

The ICC's move "should jolt Duterte into realizing that he is not above the law," Trillanes said in a statement.

For the staunch critic of the president, the ICC acting on the information is also "the first step for the victims' families' quest for justice."

READ: Amid rights outcry, Palace insists on drug war accomplishments in yearend report

On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the ICC is set to start the "preliminary examination" on the communication filed against Duterte and his executives, accusing them of committing crimes against humanity.

Trillanes and Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo party-list) filed a supplemental communication to initial information submitted by lawyer Jude Sabio before the ICC.

Sabio accused Duterte and his 11 executives of committing "mass murder" in the country.

The two lawmakers urged the international tribunal to look into Sabio's claims. They added that the killings in the country continued even after the initial communication was filed.

Roque was quick to say that critics should not be elated with the development as this does not mean that Duterte has been charged with anything yet.

Sabio, who was counsel for self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, earlier said that the Palace's announcement "vindicated" him. He said that he hopes that a warrant of arrest will be issued by the ICC against Duterte.

Human rights watchdogs estimate that more than 12,000 have been killed during the course of the government’s brutal war on drugs.

But according to the latest #RealNumbersPH release, there have been 6,309 drug-related deaths from July 1, 2016 to Jan. 17, 2018. Of these cases, 2,235 were tagged as homicide cases under investigation.

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