Sotto: ICC has no jurisdiction over case filed against Duterte
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III lectured administration critics on Thursday for filing a case against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Sotto insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case filed against Duterte and 11 others for the killing of drug suspects in the country.
“Eh mali naman yung strategy nila na yun sapagkat talagang pang media mileage lang ang reading namin dun, ng ibang tao. Hindi lang ako,” Sotto said in a television interview. “Ako nama’y sinasabi ko lang yung sinasabi ng karamihan sapagkat wala sa jurisdiction ng ICC yun. Eh mukhang hindi nagbabasa itong mga pintaserong yan ika nga ng mga patakaran.”
(“Their strategy is wrong because it’s just for media mileage. That’s our reading. Not just me, but other people as well. I’m just saying what many others are saying that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case. It seems these critics didn’t read the rules.)
“Ang ICC ang nirereklamo dun at ang tinatalakay nila at ang jurisdiction nila ay kung may state-to-state na problema,” he added. “Kunwari tayo ang Pilipinas, yung lider mo o yung isang tao dito ay may ginawa laban sa mga taga Malaysia, pwede mong dalhin sa International Criminal Court.”
(“The complaints filed at the ICC and what it has juridiction over are state-to-state problems. For example, if the leader of the Philippines or anyone here did something from someone in Malaysia, then you can bring the case to the International Criminal Court.”)
“Pero kung ang nirereklamo niyo ay dito sa Pilipinas, yung lider eh may mga pinatay na kababayan niya, dito sa korte natin yun. Wala sa ICC yun. Wala sa jurisdiction nila yun,” the senator pointed out.
(“But if the complaint is against someone in the Philippines, for example, if the leader killed a countryman, that falls under courts, not the ICC. It’s not under its jurisdiction.”)
The case filed at the ICC in the Hague last Monday was initiated by lawyer Jude Sabio.
Asked if he thinks the petitioner knew that the ICC had no jurisdiction over the case but still pushed through with the filing, Sotto said: “Ay ewan ko kung alam nila. Kung hindi nila alam, eh alam niyo na kung ano ang word na tawag dun no.”
(“I’m not sure if they know. If they don’t know, then you know what word to use for that.”)
“Pero kung alam nila, eh di tama ang bintang na media mileage lang yun,” he added.
(“But if they know, then the accusation is right – that it’s just for media mileage.”)
Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito earlier said the ICC was part of an ouster plot against Duterte and was also meant to embarrass the President as the country hosts the Asean summit this week.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, said the case was “dustbin bound” if it would rely mainly on perjured witnesses, like confessed assassin Edgar Matobato and retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas.
Matobato and Lascañas both linked Duterte to the so-called Davao Death Squad, which Duterte allegedly paid to kill criminals when he was still the mayor of Davao City. /atm/rga
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