Palace questions timing of ICC case vs Duterte
Malacañang on Monday questioning the timing of the filing of a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The timing of the filing of the case is suspect — apparently meant to create negative news in the midst of the Philippines ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) debut; as it cannot prosper,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement to media.
“International Criminal Court rules provide that the ICC, as a court of last resort, will only exercise jurisdiction over a case once legal remedies in the Philippines have been exhausted,” he pointed out, adding that Sabio and his client Edgar Matobato “did not avail/exhaust all domestic remedies allowed under the Philippine Constitution.”
Abella was referring to lawyer Jude Josue Sabio who filed a 77-page complaint before the ICC. He accused Duterte and 11 of his allies of committing crimes against humanity. Sabio said Duterte and his allies aided and abetted mass murder of 1,400 people in Davao City and around 7,000 individuals killed in relation to the President’s war against drugs.
Abella insisted that the said summary killings are not state-sponsored.
“Police authorities are conducting legitimate operations that require observance of operational protocols and those who breach procedures are made to answer before the law,” he said.
He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) already has an Internal Affairs Service (IAS) that investigates policemen accused of violating procedures.
“This body can suspend or dismiss PNP personnel based on violations incurred and can recommend the filing of criminal charges,” he said.
Abella said the ICC case is “clearly to embarrass and shame the President, and undermine the duly constituted government of the Philippines.”
“It is a cynical effort against the reform-oriented agenda of the Duterte Administration and of the betterment of the lives of the Filipino people,” he said. JE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.