Lawmakers who’re allies of President Rodrigo Duterte defended the Chief Executive from a complaint for crimes in opposition to humanity filed earlier than the International Criminal Court within the Hague.
The legal complaint goes to the trash bin as a result of the ICC is a court docket of final resort, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque mentioned in a press release, calling the ICC complaint “premature, suspect and bound to fail.”
The ICC, of which the Philippines is a state social gathering, is the court docket of final resort, and a petitioner might solely file a case earlier than the ICC after exhausting all authorized treatments within the dwelling nation.
READ: Alejano welcomes complaint vs Duterte earlier than ICC
“The Principle of Complementarity provides that the ICC will only exercise jurisdiction when Philippine courts are unwilling or unable to do so. There are various remedies available within our legal framework that have yet to be exhausted,” Roque mentioned.
Roque lamented that the legal complaint was filed simply because the nation is about to host the Asean summit, clearly meant to discredit the administration.
“Thus, it appears that the filing of this letter at this moment is an attempt to discredit the President and the Philippine government as the ASEAN Summit begins. It is regrettable how maneuvers like this to cast a negative light upon the Philippines have become more and more common,” Roque mentioned.
Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles mentioned the ICC complaint was solely meant to destabilize the federal government and weaken the general public help for the President.
“The case filed against the President in the ICC, as most Filipinos know, is the latest step in the destabilization plot against the Duterte administration. This is complete waste of time because any lawyer would say there is no basis to prosecute the President for alleged crimes against humanity,” Nograles mentioned.
He mentioned the complaint has no clear proof, including that it’s a case of discussion board procuring as a result of the impeachment complaint in opposition to Duterte for his alleged function in extrajudicial killings is bound to fail.
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“Clearly, those who seek to topple President Duterte are forum-shopping for a court sympathetic to their complaint. If they can’t get the President impeached by Congress, then they can use that as reason to appeal to the ICC to take cognizance of their complaint,” Nograles mentioned.
“In other words, since they know they don’t stand a chance in Congress, they have just gone to the ICC in advance,” he added.
Surigao Del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers mentioned the ICC complaint is nothing greater than an try for the complainant Atty. Jude Sabio to get his three minutes of fame on the expense of the President.
“Note that no single piece of evidence was offered to directly link the accused to the commission of the crimes being charged against them,” Barbers mentioned, noting that A Sabio provided as proof the findings of the Human Rights Watch regardless that the latter was not a fact-finding physique.
In his 77-page complaint, Sabio cited the “continuing mass murder” within the Philippines as a result of hundreds of Filipinos killed in Duterte’s anti-drug marketing campaign that began when he was Davao City mayor and continues now that he’s President.
READ: Duterte, 11 others accused of crimes in opposition to humanity earlier than ICC
“Your favorable action on this matter would not only serve the noble ends of international criminal justice, but would also be the beginning of the end of this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines,” Sabio mentioned.
Sabio mentioned the 7,000 drug-related killings within the Philippines prior to now seven months have surpassed the three,000 killings in the course of the two decade martial legislation regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
The police has contested the 7,000 determine, noting that solely round 2,600 drug pushers and customers had been killed in official police operations.
READ: PNP corrects ‘kill list’ figures, however it’s not 7,000
Sabio in submitting the ICC complaint represented Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad who admitted to killing drug suspects in Davao City upon Duterte’s orders.
Matobato has testified in a Senate inquiry about Duterte’s alleged order for the vigilante group Davao Death Squad to kill drug criminals in Davao City when Duterte was mayor.
Also included within the complaint are Duterte’s closest allies – Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senators Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano, Solicitor General Jose Calida, former Interior secretary Ismael Sueno, amongst others.
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