Palace: Duterte just ‘shrugged off’ ICC prosecutor report
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte downplayed and just “shrugged off” outgoing International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s report on drug war killings as it cited media sources that won’t stand in court, Malacañang said Thursday.
“Immediately, his reaction was, ‘E bakit ganito ito? Bakit puro Rappler, ABS-CBN ang sina-cite ng prosecutor?’” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing, recalling the President’s reaction to the ICC’s report.
(Immediately, his reaction was “Why is it like this? Why did the prosecutor cite Rappler, ABS-CBN?”)
“Kaya nga po after we saw the 52-page decision knowing that they were citing Rappler, ABS-CBN and Inquirer, medyo napayapa na po kami. Because in law, all these newspaper accounts are mere hearsay,” he added.
(That’s why after we saw the 52-page decision knowing it cited Rappler, ABS-CBN and Inquirer, we felt a bit eased. Because in law, all these newspaper accounts are mere hearsay.)
Bensouda has sought for judicial authorization to investigate the country’s crackdown against illegal drugs that led to thousands of killings.
In her report, Bensouda said extrajudicial killings in the country “appear to have been committed pursuant to an official State policy of the Philippine government.”
Roque said the President just “shrugged off” Bensouda’s report after seeing it cited media sources.
“Because all lawyers know that they will not stand in court. Since you need judicial authorization to proceed to an investigation, lawyers know that you cannot start any proceedings on the basis of hearsay evidence,” Roque said.
Earlier, Roque said the President will never cooperate with the ICC probe being sought.
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