International People’s Tribunal finds Duterte guilty of human rights violations
Update (5:53 p.m.)
President Rodrigo Duterte is guilty of human rights violations in the country, the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) announced on Wednesday.
“The Defendants Duterte, Trump and all other Defendants are guilty of all the charges specified in the Indictment, which account for their accountability for crimes against humanity, war crimes and violations of law and legal instruments referred to in the Indictment,” IPT said in the final verdict filed in Brussels, Belgium.
The final verdict would be submitted to the International Criminal Court, United Nations Human Rights Council and the European Parliament and other international organizations.
The complainants presented personal or video documents as evidence from 31 witnesses, experts, and resource persons.
Oral testimonies and other relevant documentations were presented by the Tribunal to show evidence of human rights violations in the country.
Duterte was charged for “gross and systematic violations of human rights,” specifically, extrajudicial killings, the martial law in Mindanao, the country’s weak economic base, violence against women, attacks on press freedom and increased presence of United States’ troops.
The complainants were Bayanmuna, Anakbayan, Gabriela, Migrante, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and Rise Up for Life and for Rights.
‘Duterte right to be punished’
Elmer Labog, head of International League of Peoples’ Struggle, said Duterte must be punished as he is losing his credibility as the country’s leader.
“Duterte has lost his legitimacy as a head of state before the international community. It has rendered its judgement on his criminal regime. He must now pay for his crimes, the so-called punisher must be punished,” Labog said in a statement on Thursday.
Labog added that the Duterte administration reflected former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s regime and the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship.
“Martial law was never lifted. We now have 14 years of the Marcos dictatorship and nine years of Arroyo distilled in just two years of Duterte. We are now confronting a “MAD” (Marcos-Arroyo-Duterte) Gang whose ringleaders are all notorious for cheating, stealing, lying and killing,” Labog said.
Joms Salvador, Secretary General of Gabriela Alliance of Filipino Women, slammed Duterte for his misogynistic remarks that he said had caused violence against women to spread in the country.
“President Duterte’s public statements promote rather than discourage or prevent discrimination against women, they are offensive to women, they are tantamount to verbally abusing women, they harass women, they degrade women, and they threaten the lives of women,” she said.
Duterte is also facing complaints filed at the International Criminal Court, which included testimonies of activists and families of victims killed in the drug war. /ee
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