Palace shrugs off Gascon’s remark on ICC probe of Duterte
Malacañang Palace on Monday shrugged off Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairman Chito Gascon’s latest tirade against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Gascon, along with the other detractors of the administration, should “change their tack” and instead “be positive in their outlook.”
Panelo made the remark after Gascon expressed optimism that the investigation of Duterte by the International Criminal Court (ICC) would likely take off early next year.
“Expectedly, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairman Jose Luis Martin ‘Chito’ Gascon has again politicized the issue of human rights during the launch of the 2018 Human Rights Festival,” Panelo said in a statement.
“Honesty is still the best policy,” he added. “The President’s words are hurtful and harmful only to those who cannot accept — or refuse to accept — the truth. Or having accepted the truth, they can not admit the falsity of their opposite stance.”
Panelo said the people’s acceptance of the President had remained “unchanged” more than two years since he took office.
“He continues to be the most approved and trusted national official in the country. This is a testament that our people have accepted his authenticity and candor as a leader,” Panelo said.
The President has been hounded by serious allegations of human rights violations.
Based in The Netherlands, the ICC “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.”
Duterte has refused to honor ICC’s jurisdiction.
He also ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statue due to the accusations against him by United Nations officials. /atm
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