Duterte is ‘running scared’ as PH’s exit from ICC takes effect – De Lima


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has criticized Mr. Duterte for hiding under the skirt of his men instead of facing justice before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the crimes against humanity he committed under his murderous war on drugs.

De Lima, a known human rights defender, said the government’s effort in disputing the ICC’s jurisdiction over the Philippines to investigate the killings under government’s drug war is solid proof that the President is a guilty man who is fleeing from justice.

“Instead of facing the music, Duterte is running scared. Behind the delusional bravado of a tyrant is a man who hides behind the legal acrobatics of his men,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 485.

“He may not (yet) be fleeing physically, but he is surely fleeing by abusing his powers as President and usurping the powers of two other branches of government,” she added.

The Hague-based ICC launched last year a preliminary examination into the killings and human rights violations under Duterte’s war on drugs, which would determine if the ICC has the right to go on a full-blown investigation.

The initial examination prompted Duterte in March 2018 to unilaterally withdraw the country’s membership from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.

Amid reports that that the ICC may announce its decision to move its investigation on the drug war before March 17, the day the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC takes effect, Panelo claimed that the ICC would be violating its own laws if it proceeds with a probe without a preliminary investigation prior to the withdrawal.

De Lima reminded Panelo that “if the ICC decides that it has jurisdiction, then and only then can and should the formal preliminary investigation proceed. It doesn’t lose its jurisdiction over a matter already taken cognizance of by the ICC before the withdrawal takes effect.”

Guevarra, on his part, falsely argued, among others, that the ICC could not prosecute crimes in a country with a working justice system, citing the case of slain student Kian delos Santos as an example.

“That Secretary Guevarra can only point to one prosecution out of thousands of deaths reveals the fallacy of his argument,” she said.

De Lima, a former justice secretary, urged Duterte to “be man enough” to face charges for the murders committed upon his blessing or inducement. “Mr. President, ikaw na ngayon ang nanlalaban sa harap ng mga awtoridad ng hustisya. Gusto mo lamang isahan ang taumbayan at ang mundo. Gagamitin mo pa ang kapangyarihan ng opisina mo para manlaban sa katotohanan at hustisya.

“Gagawa-gawa ka ng kasalanan, tapos ngayong panahon na para managot ay tatakbo ka lang pala? Mahiya ka naman at ang mga tauhan mo,” De Lima said.

De Lima added: “Tuparin mo na ang pinagmamalaki mong pangako na papanagutan mo lahat ng pagpatay na inutos mo. Huwag ka nang manlaban. Huwag ka nang tumakbo. Harapin mo na lang ang hustisya.”

Last year, De Lima sought the Supreme Court’s nod to allow her to personally appear and argue on the petition that she and her colleagues filed assailing the constitutionality of the President’s unilateral decision to withdraw from the ICC, without the concurrence by the Senate. The SC junked the minority senators’ motion to allow De Lima to argue for the position of non-withdrawal from the Rome Statute, maintaining that the case will not be prejudiced if a lawyer other than De Lima argued their petition before the Court.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.