Lawyer of ex-Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato eyes Senate run

Jodesz Gavilan
Lawyer of ex-Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato eyes Senate run


Saying he intends to fight the 'criminal, immoral' Duterte regime, lawyer Jude Sabio files his certificate of candidacy through a representative

MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of a self-confessed hitman is gunning for a Senate seat.

Lawyer Jude Sabio, through representatve Rogelio Doydora, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) as an independent at the Commission on Elections on Monday, October 15.

Sabio is the lawyer of ex-Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Edgar Matobato who linked President Rodrigo Duterte to mass killings in his hometown. (READ: Edgar Matobato: Liar or truth-teller?)

In a text message to Rappler, Sabio said he is running to continue and join the fight for justice started by senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV. 

Etong imoral at kriminal na mamamatay taong rehimeng Duterte ay pinapatay ang mahihirap di lang sa bala kundi pati sa gutom dahil sa patuloy na pagtaas ng presyo,” he said. 

Kinokondena ko ang ginagawa ni Duterte na walang pakialam na magdusa sa hirap at mamatay sa gutom ang mga mahihirap at ang nangyayari ngayon ay isang sumpa dahil sa demonyo, kriminal, imoral at mamamatay taong rehimeng Duterte,” Sabio added.

(This immoral and criminal Duterte regime is killing the poor – not just using bullets but also using the high prices of commodities. I condemn the actions of Duterte dismissing the poor and the hungry. What’s happening now is a curse due to the demon, criminal, immoral, and killer regime of Duterte.)

He said that he decided to submit through an authorized representative out of fear for his safety. Doydora, he added, is a childhood friend. 

In 2017, Sabio filed an official communication before the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing Duterte of crimes against humanity in relation to his violent war on drugs. The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor is now conducting a preliminary examination on the issue.

Duterte’s anti-drug campaign has left at least 4,800 people dead, according to the Philippine National Police. But human rights groups estimate that at least 20,000 have been killed, including victims of vigilante groups. (READ: Drug war will be ‘as chilling as the day it began’ – Duterte) –

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.