Panelo: Duterte can’t be arrested over ICC drug war probe
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday downplayed claims that President Rodrigo Duterte may be arrested once the International Criminal Court (ICC) concludes its probe on his administration’s brutal war on drugs.
Panelo’s defense of Duterte came after former Bayan Muna congressman Neri Colmenares claimed that Duterte “may face arrest.”
Panelo dismissed Colmenares’ statement as a “fervent wish.”
“Wish lang ni Congressman Colmenares yun. Siguro ‘yun ang kanyang fervent wish. Di mangyayari yun,” Panelo said in a radio interview on DZIQ as he reiterated that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the country.
(That is merely a wish of Congressman Colmenares. Maybe that is his fervent wish. It will not happen.)
“Wala ngang jurisdiction ang ICC so ineffective kung mag-issue pa sila ng warrant. Paano nila ie-enforce?” Panelo asked.
(ICC does not have jurisdiction so it will be ineffective if they will issue a warrant. How will they enforce it?)
Panelo pointed out that a preliminary examination still needs to be conducted to determine if the ICC indeed have jurisdiction over the complaint.
Afterwards, the ICC will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine if there is probable cause. If so, that’s when the trial begins, as per Panelo.
“Malayo pa yun, assuming na may jurisdiction. Eh wala nga e as far as we’re concerned,” Panelo said.
(That’s far from now, assuming there is jurisdiction. But there is none as far as we’re concerned.)
Asked if Duterte is bothered by the issue, Panelo replied: No, I think it is Colmenares who is bothered.
The ICC earlier said that it still has jurisdiction over the supposed crimes as the complaints were filed before the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the Court.
The ICC said preliminary examination of the crimes against humanity complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte may be finished in 2020.
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