After getting bashed for floating the idea of impeachment to oust Duterte, de Lima & company are now saying an ICC indictment awaits the President for EJK (extra-judicial killings).
On Wednesday, August 10, 2016 party-list Representative Harry Roque warned President Rodrigo Duterte that the International Criminal Court (ICC) may indict him for the continuing spate of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
Two days later, Rep. Roque repeated the same warning while delivering a privilege speech in Congress to commemorate International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Day on August 12 and said that “so long as the ICC believes the war on drugs is “widespread” and “systematic”, it is likely to investigate the killings.”
He cited jurisprudence decided by other international tribunals and claimed that “while it would be imprudent for [him] to say with certainty that President Duterte has already committed a crime against humanity, it would be a disservice to this entire nation if [he] did not warn [the president] to be careful.”
“Neither the Rome Statute nor general international law prescribes a minimum number of victims for an indictment. So long as the ICC believes the war on drugs is ‘widespread’ and ‘systematic’, they are likely to investigate,” he said.
Roque went on to cite Article 7, Section 1 of the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the ICC of which the Philippines is party to – a “crime against humanity” is a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population with knowledge of such attack.
“By definition, crimes against humanity may be committed even in times of peace, without the existence of an armed conflict,” he said.
Moreover, Roque warned that the principle of state immunity granted to a sitting president “is not an effective shield against the ICC.”
Meanwhile, Senator de Lima, another vocal critic of the President concurred with Rep. Harry Roque in regard to the ICC indictment against Duterte.
In an article published by the PDI, De Lima, feigning very concerned with Duterte said that “there are some experts who are saying that…if this spate of killings go unabated and unchecked, it could reach that point that the ICC could send a prosecutor to our country and investigate all these for possible prosecution under the Rome Statute. That is not a joke. The last thing we need right now is for our dear President to be subjected to an investigation by an international tribunal like the International Criminal Court.”
However, not all agrees with the position of the two distinguished pundits of President Duterte.
Netizen Sass Rogando Sasot believes otherwise. On a Facebook post, Ms. Sasot published a rebuttal to the position being floated by the Libreal party camp led by Senator de Lima and Rep. Roque. Please refer below.
Sass Rogando Sasot said that “as an incumbent head of state, Duterte cannot be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court without ‘unseating’ him.
Can Duterte be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) while he’s still the incumbent president? ICJ’s decision on DRC v Belgium is clear about this: incumbent heads of states enjoy personal immunity (immunity ratione personae) from criminal jurisdiction in order to “protect the individual concerned against any act of authority of another State which would hinder him or her in the performance of his or her duties” (full ICC decision: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/121/8126.pdf)
Nonetheless, ICC Statute overrides personal immunity of incumbents. That is why De Lima’s invocation of the International Criminal Court is VERY dangerous. If Duterte gets served a warrant by the ICC, who would enforce it? Steps to coup d’etat with the help of the country that has the wherewithal to enforce it: the United States.
So kailan lang pwedeng ma-prosecute si Duterte, as in dadalhim mo siya talaga sa ICC? Kapag di na siya president. So, either they wait after 6 years or wait until Duterte gets unseated by impeachment or coup d’etat.
Ms. Sasot thinks something is ‘fishy’ with De Lima’s motives in bringing up the ICC indictment issue.
So bakit ito gustong pag-usapan ngayon ni Senator De Lima? MALANSANG MALANSA. De Lima’s days are numbered.
Please feel free to comment below.