Makabayan solon hits smear drive against Int'l Criminal Court

Published June 23, 2021, 5:06 PM

by Ben Rosario

A staunch critic of the Duterte government on Wednesday, June 23 assailed the president and his allies for allegedly trying to “blur” the issue on the endorsement of a International Criminal Court probe into the bloody “war on drugs” in the country.

Asst. Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said President Duterte “cannot elude accountability”, if found guilty of the allegations of crimes against humanity that the ICC was asked to investigate.

“President Duterte is merely blurring the issue with his false claims of the ICC being a ‘white court’ and trying to hide his crimes against humanity. By threatening the ICC, and chief prosecutor Bensouda, he is merely deflecting worldwide criticism on his bloody human rights record,” said Castro in a press statement.

She said these are “false and invalid issues” aimed at putting in bad light the credibility of ICC in investigating and hearing human rights violations and other crimes against humanity.

Earlier, allies of the Duterte administration noted that the ICC appeared to be targeting leaders of Third World countries, mostly in Africa.

They also revealed that among the heavy contributors to the ICC are rich countries in Europe and Asia and the United States which is not covered by the Rome Statute.

Castro insisted that the published reports against the ICC are part of the smear campaign aimed at putting the international court in bad light.

“By cursing the ICC and its processes, he is cursing international law and the Philippine government’s obligations under it. It is the Filipino people who filed the case against the Duterte administration before the ICC, the victims of the extrajudicial killings under his war against drugs,” Castro said.

She lamented that questionable killings committed by law enforcers continue even as the international community has called the attention of the government on supposed massive human rights violations committed in the country.

“Just recently, there was news of cops killing a 16-year-old boy and his companion in Laguna in an anti-drug operation. Reports stated that the boy was shot while handcuffed facing down,” the partylist lawmaker said.

Castro added: “Any killings should be investigated, not being able to investigate these killings, especially in the hands of the police under operations is the failure of our police and justice system.” She claimed that the ICC doubted that the Duterte government is serious in its pledge to investigate all “extra judicial killings” linked to Duterte’s “war on drugs.” “The Filipino people will hold President Duterte accountable for his crimes against humanity,” Castro stressed.