Pimentel sees ICC dismissal of complaint vs Duterte
The International Criminal Court (ICC)’s “preliminary examination” on President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal crackdown against illegal drugs is but a mere procedure and would be dismissed in just a matter of time, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Friday.
“I believe that simply is the procedure in the ICC – they give every complaint an initial chance to survive,” Pimentel said in a message to reporters.
“But after this initial review my prediction is that the complaint will be dismissed. It’s just a matter of time. Ground: lack of jurisdiction,” he added.
The ICC has informed the Philippine government that it would conduct a preliminary examination on the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign to see if there was a basis to conduct a formal investigation into allegations that Duterte committed crimes against humanity.
ICC prosecutor Fatuous Bensouda said on Thursday that “preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines will analyze crimes” allegedly committed in the Philippines from at least July 1, 2016 in the context of the anti-drug campaign.
She noted, however, that a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a “process of examining the information available” to determine if there is a “reasonable basis” to proceed with an investigation in accordance to the criteria established by the Rome Statute.
The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC. The Philippines is one of the 123 states that are party to the statute.
The ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
But Pimentel, a key Duterte ally, doubted if what has happened in the Philippines under the government’s drug war falls under the serious and grave crimes.
“Look at the crimes under the ICC’s jurisdiction. Do you honestly believe what has happened here in Philippines falls under any of those very serious and grave crimes? Honestly?” he said.
“Even those who despise President Duterte PLEASE be honest. Kayo na sumagot sa tanong niyo,” he added.
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