Duterte slams proposed ICC probe anew

Maris Federez   •   June 22, 2021   •   489

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on June 21, 2021. JOEY DALUMPINES/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte once again stressed his stance against the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Why would I defend or face an accusation before white people? You must be crazy. Mga colonizers ito noon (They were colonizers in the past) and they have not atoned for their sins against the countries that they invaded, including the Philippines,” Duterte said.

The president maintained that he will just face a Philippine court in front of a Filipino judge.

“They are trying to set up a court outside our country and making us liable to face them. Our laws are different. Our criminal procedure is different. How are you supposed to get justice there?” the President said. “I will readily face a court, being accused in a Philippine court before a Filipino judge.”

Duterte made this statement after Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año reported during a pre-taped meeting with the president the status of the government’s anti-illegal drug operations.

In his report, Año enumerated the arrests made by authorities which include high-profile individuals and the number of those killed during their operations.

This, the President said, is what the ICC does not understand.

“If you do not move against them, it will destroy our country. Narco-politics ito eh,” Duterte said, adding that such has been eradicated after several mayors were killed during anti-drug operations.

“We’re not saying that we are killing them. We kill them because they fight back,” he said.

Last June 15, outgoing ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested that the court conduct an investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Duterte administration in its war on drugs. —/mbmf

Philippines yet to receive formal request from ICC for proof of probe into drug war deaths – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has yet to receive a formal request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to provide concrete information that it is conducting investigations into allegations involving the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles issued the statement following reports that ICC Prosecutor Khan will ask the Philippine government to provide substantiating information regarding its probe into allegations of crime committed under its war against drugs.

“We would like to clarify that we have yet to receive a formal request with regard to this matter. That being said, we reiterate our position that the ICC has no jurisdiction to probe our campaign against illegal drugs,” Nograles said.

“Clearly, the ICC prosecutor’s request for information is an acknowledgment that alleged victims can seek redress in Philippine legal institutions because these are independent, impartial, and competent,” he added.

Moreover, Nograles said that the ICC prosecutor’s statement “validates our earlier position that the ICC is the court of last resort, one that can be utilized when a State Party is unwilling to investigate and prosecute those who violate its laws.”

“This is simply not the case in the Philippines. Our criminal justice system continues to be capable and functional, and a case in point is the signing of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation of an agreement to conduct cooperative investigations,” he said.

Nograles stressed that this serves as “evidence that a culture of impunity does not exist in our country as local institutions have demonstrated their commitment to accountability.”

Khan, in a statement posted on Tuesday, said the Duterte administration must submit concrete proof that its is investigating allegations involving its war on drugs after the ICC deferred its probe upon the request of the Philippine government.

The ICC deferred the probe after the government said that investigations on reported deaths during anti-drug operations are underway.

“Such information must consist of tangible evidence, of probative value and a sufficient degree of specificity, demonstrating that concrete and progressive investigative steps have been or are currently being undertaken,” the statement read.

Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Eduardo Malaya wrote Khan that the country’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has already referred to the National Bureau of Investigation the 52 cases it reviewed, where administrative liability was found on the part of concerned law enforcers.

Members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and the Free Legal Assistance Group have called on the ICC to resume its probe, saying the DOJ is only looking at several cases out of tens of thousands of killings allegedly linked to the drug war.

Presidential aspirants tackle Phl major issues

Maris Federez   •   November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidates for the 2022 national and local elections have visited several places in the country over the weekend, laying down their opinions and proposed actions on major issues in the country.

On Saturday, Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson flew to Pag-asa Island amid the tension in the West Philippine Sea.

He was accompanied by senatorial aspirant and former Philippine National Police chief General Guillermo Eleazar.

Lacson led the Philippine flag-raising activities on the island.

The Senator insists that the Philippines needs to forge alliances with big countries and eventually take back the islands that have been claimed by others.

“Hindi natin kayang mag-isa. Mag-strengthen tayo ng alliances with the other militarily strong countries na mga binanggit ko kanina nang sa ganoon, unti-unti ma-repossess natin ‘yung halos daan-daang nawawala sa atin,” Lacson said.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso went to Payatas, Quezon City and visited the Material Recovery Facility in the area.

There, Mayor Isko promised to provide housing to the poor.

“Kapag ako ay sinuwerte, kapag akoy sinuwerte kung ano ang ginawa ko sa Maynila na pabahay, ganun din ang gagawin ko sa buong bansa,” Domagoso said.

Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, had been going around Quezon province in the past few days.

Robredo promised to address the alleged injustices that coconut farmers have been experiencing and vowed to distribute among them the controversial Coco Levy Fund.

The team of former Senator Bongbong Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, meanwhile, went around Tagum City in Davao del Norte over the weekend.

The BBM-Sara tandem was with Lakas-CMD President House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and other members of the House of Representatives.

Presidential Leody de Guzman, on the other hand, held a dialogue with officials and fisherfolks in Barangay Bayod in Los Baños, Laguna.

In a separate statement, de Guzman lamented the suspension of the International Criminal Court’s investigation on the Duterte Administration’s war on drugs.

“Pero naniniwala ako na hindi pa dapat magsaya si Pangulong Duterte dahil magpapatuloy ang paniningil ng mga magulang at kamag-anak at ng sambayang Pilipino,” De Guzman said.

Other presidential aspirants, senators Manny Pacquiao and Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, did not have any reported public engagements over the weekend.

However, Senator Go released a statement opposing the cut on the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) budget.

Go said the task force has a big role in the lasting peace and order in the remote areas of the country.

“Napakalaki ng papel ng NTF-ELCAC sa hangarin nating magkaroon ng pangmatagalang kapayapaan, lalo na sa mga kapos sa buhay at nasa malalayong komunidad sa bansa. Kung kaya’t kamakailan ay tumutol ako sa pagtapyas ng budget nito,” Go said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

DOJ vows to review more drug war cases before end of Duterte’s term

Maris Federez   •   October 22, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will try to review more drug war cases before the end of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they are coordinating with Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police-General Guillermo Eleazar for the turnover of documents relative to the cases for their review.

Guevarra, however, said the review will depend on their manpower and on whether the case file folders from the different PNP regional offices in the country are already available and complete.

The DOJ is also considering conducting random reviews of the cases coming from the regions.

Meanwhile, Guevarra stressed that they will not allow the investigation that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is planning to launch on the government’s drug war to affect their review.

“Sa aking huling nabasa tungkol sa isyu diyan ng ICC mukhang tuloy-tuloy naman sila. Sabi nga ng kanilang bagong prosecutor I understand that they will continue with the investigation. So sa amin, kami rin naman dito sa DOJ tuloy-tuloy lang din yung trabaho namin dito. Kung ano man ang naibigay sa amin irereview namin with proper recommendations,” Guevarra said.- —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

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