Elena Grace Flores
Bongbong Marcos said it before that the destabilizers of the Du30 administration would only stop to attack the President when he becomes Vice President. Those who are anti-Du30 just can’t stand him as his successor. This pronouncement resurfaces after Presidential spokesman Atty. Harry Roque urges the ICC to not allow it as the venue for political destabilization efforts. Jailed Senator Leila de Lima calls on it to start its preliminary investigations on EJKs.
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ICC is Not a Court of First Recourse
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque refutes Senator Leila de Lima’s claims that the government is unable to probe alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs). “The point is, the ICC is never a court of first recourse. People with complaints against extralegal killings must file before the Philippine courts,” Roque, who also a human rights lawyer stressed.
De Lima’s No-Brainer or No-Brain Call?
De Lima, in a strongly urges the ICC to start preliminary investigations on alleged extra killings in the country. She accuses the President of adopting a policy killing Filipinos suspected of drug use and peddling. “It’s a no-brainer. How can the ICC expect the Du30 Administration to take jurisdiction over the prosecution of EJK crimes? The President already admits that it is the very policy of his administration to kill Filipinos,” De Lima added.
Presidential Speech that Triggers De Lima
The detained senator refers to the President’s speech in Pampanga on December 7. Du30 reiterates on his drug war policy. Saying that it remains “until the dying days of his presidency or his life.” “We do not enjoy killing our own kind. It is not a good policy, but we are besieged. That is something that is very terrible,” Duterte said of his drug war. “Four million is four million addicts, 42 percent of the total barangay are contaminated with shabu,” the President lamented on its extremity.
Cannot Step in if there’s No Case in Local Court
The Philippines is a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Under the statute, the state is given the primary jurisdiction to try cases. The ICC only steps in when the concerned state fails to prosecute an international crime such as genocide or other crimes against humanity. Roque, however, insists that there is no unwillingness on the side of the government to probe the killings, citing cases in the Supreme Court. De Limas’s actions are allegedly part of his party’s aim to dethrone Du30 for their Liberal bet to take over before Bongbong Marcos proves that her party cheated during the 2016 elections. The recount for Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo starts in February 2018.