ICC prosecutors are fools, they don’t read — Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has called prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘fools,’ saying they did not prepare before claiming that there is sufficient basis to believe that crimes against humanity were committed under his term.
Duterte mentioned the ICC issue during his pre-recorded briefing on Wednesday, saying that they have been working to change the country, to the point that they are being charged for several cases.
“Ginagawa ko na nga lahat, nagkaka-kaso kaso na nga ako dyan sa kung anong International (Criminal) Court […] akala naman nitong ulol, isa rin, walang preparasyon, hindi nagbabasa ang mga gago,” the President said.
He also took a shot at the opposition who rallied behind the ICC, particularly former senator Antonio Trillanes IV for saying that the day of reckoning for Duterte is near.
According to Duterte, he is prepared to go to jail if it is what is destined for him.
On Tuesday, ICC declared that they have found a reasonable basis to believe that such crimes were committed while the government was conducting its war against illegal drugs.
This was a response to the case filed by drug war critics and the victims’ relatives in August 2018, which said that Duterte violated Article 7 of the Rome Statute for “widespread and systematic attacks in the form of murder of thousands of civilians”.
“Saka may statement pa nung isa sabi ko nga itong tao na ito si Trillanes, may statement siya […] mas marunong ka pa, bakit mo ako tatakutin na mag-preso, if it is my destiny that ma-preso ako then mag-preso ako,” Duterte said.
The Chief Executive also claimed that Trillanes has not done anything — in contrast to him, as he insisted that his opponents in the drug war are nowhere to be found, albeit not jailed.
“Tapos sabi dito turo dito, drug lord dito, drug lord doon, pati ‘yong mga anak ko, anong nangyari? Wala, ni isa, may napakulong ka ba Trillanes? Sino? Nandyan pa rin sila, ako wala akong pinakulong, pero wala na sila […] ewan ko kung saan pumunta ang mga putang ina,” Duterte said.
“‘Wag kayong maniwala dyan sa oposisyon, walang ginawa ‘yan gusto lang ‘yang bumalik kasi maaari lang ibigay ko na lang para hindi na sisirain ang Pilipino, ibigay ko na lang,” he added.
Several activists and groups including Bayan Muna and its officials like Rep. Carlos Zarate have noted that the ICC declaration is a vindication of their criticism of the drug war.
But Duterte criticized Zarate again, labeling him a part of a “conspiracy of communism” in the country — something that the lawmaker has repeatedly denied.
“Tama ‘yong sabi ni Bong, if you want to appear white, you paint the other person black. Pinturahan mo ng itim at ika’y puputi […] yan ang ginagawa nila. Tignan mo anong ginawa, nakipag-kuntsaba pati itong mga komunista nakapasok sa gobyenro. Do you think that we will stop there?” he asked.
“I said you are a member of a grand conspiracy of communism lahat kayo, the act of one is the act of all, ikaw Zarate, magbantay ka. Sabi niyo paalis na ako? Well really?” he added.
Duterte’s administration has been heavily criticized locally and abroad for allegedly disregarding human rights in the conduct of the drug war, as his statements were blamed for the rise in alleged extrajudicial killings.
As of now, only one case of a summary execution has been decided — the killing of 17-year-old student Kian delos Santos who was accused of involvement in the drug trade even if he was not the original target of a police operation. The court said Delos Santos was shot point-blank, despite surrendering and pleading with the police officers.
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