Roque parrots President Duterte, calls ICC 'BS'

Published June 22, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Roy Mabasa

“It’s very clear, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a “b—s—t,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday.

Roque merely repeated what President Duterte has stated on Monday night when the latter lashed out at the ICC for its announcement on a possible probe of the spate of killings related to the bloody war on drugs campaign in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque (File photo/Malacañang)

“Hindi ko po alam bakit ganoon iyong naging conclusion mo. Pero malinaw po iyan (I don’t know why you came to that conclusion. But it’s clear), it’s ‘BS’,” Roque retorted back when asked if the President meant that the lack of apology from colonizers justifies the unabated killings in the administration’s war on drugs campaign.

Roque maintained that the Philippines is a sovereign country and if ever there should be any judicial proceeding against the President, “it will have to be before Filipino fiscals and trial will have to be before Filipino judges “.

On June 14, outgoing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensaouda announced that she has applied for authorization with the pre-trial chamber to open a probe into the alleged crimes against humanity committed under the Duterte administration’s controversial war on drugs campaign that occurred during the first two years of his presidency and the last five years when he was mayor of Davao City.

Duterte, however, lashed out against the ICC and vowed not to cooperate in any of its pending proceedings.

“Itong ICC, b—s—t itong… I would not… why would I defend or face an accusation before white people? You must be crazy,” the President said during his Monday night’s Talk to the People.

On orders of Duterte, the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute in March 2018 but the withdrawal only took effect in March 2019 after the United Nations Secretary-General was officially notified.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC and was adopted during a conference in Rome on July 17, 1998.

The Philippines ratified the Rome Statute in August 2011 under President Benigno Aquino III and entered into force from November 1, 2011.