Bishop signs online petition seeking int’l court probe
A Catholic bishop has signed an online petition urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate President Duterte for alleged crimes against humanity.
“I am signing because the right to life is basic and inviolable for every human person. We have to defend this for everyone,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a post on his Facebook account.
He signed a petition on www.change.org, titled “International Criminal Court: Investigate Duterte for Crimes Against Humanity” and asking the ICC to investigate Mr. Duterte for his brutal war on illegal drugs that has cost the lives of more than 3,700 people.
It was posted by a certain N. Vidal of San Francisco, California, a month ago and has 1,313 signatures so far.
The petition cited Mr. Duterte’s war on illegal drugs and his disregard for human rights, pointing out that he encouraged people to kill people involved in the narcotics trade.
“People’s right to due process and a fair trial are willfully ignored, and people are accused of being involved in the drug trade with no proof or investigation,” it said.
The Senate launched an investigation into the extrajudicial killings in the drug war in September, but Mr. Duterte’s allies stripped Sen. Leila de Lima of her post as chair of the investigative committee when she tried to establish links between the slayings and the vigilante killings in Davao when Mr. Duterte was still mayor of the city.
De Lima was replaced by Sen. Richard Gordon, who closed the hearings saying no evidence had been found to link Mr. Duterte to the extrajudicial killings.
“This committee is not proving to be capable of conducting an effective and impartial investigation. Duterte also threatened to declare martial law if the judiciary interferes,” the petition said.
It called on the ICC to “use its jurisdiction and investigate Duterte, the killings and to prosecute if necessary.”
The Philippines is a signatory to the Rome Statute that created the ICC, which has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes or crimes of aggression.
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