Dispatch from Crame No. 250: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano’s speech at the 37th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council


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The irony in Cayetano’s propaganda to the world about the Duterte regime being a victim of “weaponized” human rights advocacy is that it is precisely this propaganda that makes him a candidate for prosecution in the ICC.

The more Cayetano defends the Duterte regime’s crimes against humanity before the world, the more he buries himself internationally together with his principal. The problem with Cayetano is that he and his media strategists, a.k.a. propagandists and spinmasters, do not distinguish between local and international audiences.

While their propaganda and fake news might work with the followers of Mocha Uson and DDS fanatics, they are fooling themselves if they think they can pull off the same doublespeak before UN country members of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Ironically again, while in the Philippines the human rights defenders are the voice in the wilderness, in the UN and the international community, it is Cayetano and the regime he represents that are the outcasts. Already, Iceland has put the motion before the UNHRC for the investigation of Duterte. On top of this is the ICC prosecutor’s conduct of its preliminary examination on the Philippine situation.

The world is indeed getting smaller for Cayetano and his boss. And it is a world that cannot be fooled by Cayetano’s amateur propaganda. Quite the opposite. Every recording of his speeches find themselves in international archives, whether at the UN or the ICC.

As the international spokesperson for a death squad government, Cayetano cannot escape accountability for his defense of the mass murder in the Philippines that has now claimed 20,322 lives according to the PNP’s latest body count.

While Duterte might escape the reckoning at the ICC by virtue of an early death, I doubt that the same will be true for Cayetano. He is young and has many years ahead of him, years that will be used by the ICC to haul him off to The Hague to answer for his complicity in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

When that time comes, Cayetano’s media strategists won’t be there to help him. It is their own spinning that will pin him down. They cannot fool the world the same way they fooled their DDS fanatics.

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