LP exec: Where did strong, fierce Duterte go?
Where did the strong, fierce President go?
This was the question of Liberal Party (LP) vice president on external affairs Erin Tañada to President Rodrigo Duterte after he announced the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that establishes the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“Question: Where did the strong, fierce President go?” Tañada said in a statement on Thursday.
“He used to say that if you did nothing wrong, you need not hide, and there is nothing to fear from justice,” he added.
Duterte on Wednesday announced the withdrawal from the Rome Statute, citing the apparent “concerted effort” between the United Nations special rapporteurs and the ICC special prosecutor to paint him as a “ruthless and heartless violator of human rights who allegedly caused thousands of extrajudicial killings.”
He also noted the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against him and his administration by United Nations special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zaid Ra’ad al-Hussein.
Critics have slammed the move, calling it as a “cowardly” act by Duterte.
“Today, the country has been made aware that the tyrant is a mere coward who plays tough with words but flinches when confronted with concrete platforms for accountability,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said in a statement.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, however, said that the President is “definitely not” afraid of the ICC probe, disputing claims that it was the reason why the Chief Executive decided to withdraw from the treaty forming the tribunal. /jpv