Rights lawyer cautions Duterte against comments about ICC probers
With a simple Facebook post, an international human rights lawyer, Ruben Carranza, reminded President Rodrigo Duterte that ranting against investigators of the International Criminal Court (ICC) could get him into deeper trouble.
Last week, the President threatened to arrest ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda if she should come to the Philippines to investigate him for alleged crimes against humanity stemming from his bloody war against illegal drugs where thousands of drug suspects, mostly poor, had been killed.
On April 13, Carranza, director for the Reparative Justice Program of the New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), posted a screenshot of a news report from Manila quoting the President saying he would have ICC investigators arrested.
Along with it, Carranza wrote the ICC Treaty Article 70 that says:
“The Court shall have jurisdiction over the following offences: (d) intimidating an official of the Court for the purpose of forcing the official not to perform her duties; (e) Retaliating against an official on account of duties performed.”
The President has obviously been upset by Bensouda’s announcement in February that the ICC had begun its preliminary examination into the complaint filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio, who had accused him and his other top officials of crimes against humanity and of killing as a policy.
This also led the President to withdraw the Philippines from the Rome Statute that created the ICC.
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima, whose supporters consider as the first political prisoner under the Duterte administration, has also warned the President that arresting ICC investigators would tantamount to refusal to cooperate.
“Only a rogue state with nothing to lose in the International community will attempt such an action,” De Lima said. /atm
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