John Matthew Cruz
Malacañang sees no reason for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to intervene in issues concerning the Philippines, particularly on the country’s fight against illegal drugs.
In a statement, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella maintained that “no concrete evidence” has shown that the killings of suspected drug personalities in the Philippines were state-sponsored.
“The International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot arbitrarily interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country like the Philippines,” Abella said.
“There is no concrete evidence pointing to crimes against humanity here: such crimes must be widespread and systematically directed against a specific group. This element is absent in the Philippine situation,” he said.
The Palace official added: “The Philippine Senate already absolved the President and there exists no such crime.”
Duterte has repeatedly blasted critics and opponents, including international bodies that have spoken out against his brutal war on drugs, saying he won’t stop until the last drug lord is driven out.
In a television interview, Commission on Human Rights Chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon said the ICC was closely monitoring drug killings in the country.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in October 2016 said that “any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence, including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC, is potentially liable to prosecution before the Court.”
The Philippines has been a state party to the ICC since November 1, 2011.
On Thursday, President Duterte launched another tirade against the European Union (EU), calling it “f****** s***” for criticizing his bloody war on drugs.
This came after the EU summoned Manila’s envoy to Brussels on Monday to explain “unacceptable” comments made by Duterte last week, in which the President said he would be “very glad” to hang the European Parliament for “interfering” in the affairs of the Philippines.
In remarks during the oath-taking ceremonies for newly appointed government officials in Malacañang, Duterte said the EU had no moral ascendancy to recommend anti-narcotics policies in the Philippines because of its members’ history of colonization.
“I do not go into that kind of rigmarole of many stories. I am straightforward regarding drugs. This EU, son of a b****,” the President said.
“You know if you would ask how I would describe them [EU lawmakers], just tell them the mayor has said, ‘You’re a f****** s***,’” said the former Davao City mayor.
Duterte then lambasted the EU because of how its member-countries had historically subjugated other lands.
“For after all, you are ahead of the industrialization age because you conquered lands. They massacred a lot of people,” the President said.
“We hate you, the EU, for being hypocrites. You are the incongruity of our times,” he added.
The EU had condemned the “many extrajudicial killings” in the country since Duterte launched the fight against narcotics trade.
On Wednesday, Duterte called the EU “crazy” for calling for the immediate release of his leading critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug-related charges that she claims were trumped-up.
Despite criticisms hurled against him, Duterte maintained that his drug war would be relentless.
He warned drug traders: “I will kill you. I will really kill you. You choose: ambush or sniper? Don’t ruin my country.”