They try to impose their values and the way they think how a criminal is categorized. It’s new colonialism.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) from which the Philippines had withdrawn last March is a tribunal composed of a bunch of criminals and idiots, President Rodrigo Duterte said in Cebu on Friday night as he stepped up his criticisms on the body that launched a preliminary examination into his signature war on drugs.
Mr. Duterte echoed the United States’ recent criticisms against the ICC while also attacking the European Union which is also critical of his administration.
“What’s your problem? Who are you to run my country? That’s the problem with the European Union (EU). They are into international governing, they create an ICC, European community, and they try to impose their values and the way they think how a criminal is categorized. It’s new colonialism,” Duterte said.
Duterte also criticized Catholic Church leaders for supposedly turning a blind eye on cases of abuse by its priests.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton had lashed out at ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to look into the alleged war crimes in Afghanistan calling the court as “illegitimate.”
The United States is not a member of the ICC.
Speaking before the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology Clinical Forum in Cebu on Friday night, Mr. Duterte said the ICC and the EU impose Western ideals on Asian nations.
“You’re all bulls*****. They want to send me to prison and try me for genocide… They’re a bunch of criminals. Show me how they died, when they died, where? Nothing,” Duterte said, referring to the ICC.
Not enough time
“They would just say, Duterte time, 4,000 killed. Me killing 4,000? I won’t even have time to sit for a sh*t. It would keep me busy for 24 hours,” he added.
The President is facing complaints before the ICC over his war on drugs and his supposed role in the alleged death squad killings in Davao City where he ruled as mayor for over two decades.
Duterte ordered the withdrawal of the Philippines’ ratification of the United Nations treaty that created the ICC, or the Rome Statute, but it is being questioned before the Supreme Court.
The President also criticized Catholic Church leaders for supposedly turning a blind eye on cases of abuse by its priests.
“They all keep on making this facade of righteousness when they know that after all they are also a bunch of sh*t,” he said.
“Asking cars from government, getting them free, when they know very well that there is a separation of Church and State, that no money of the government should be spent for benefit of religion, Duterte added.
He again launched an insult against a “God” different from his.
I was elected by the Filipino people. I answer only to Filipinos.
“If you marry, you pay. Burial, you pay. Baptism you pay. That’s why I said your God is not my God. Your God is stupid. My God has a lot of common sense,” Duterte said.
In the same speech, the President also admitted that they have “underestimated” the reported build-up of extremist forces in Marawi City which eventually led to its siege in May 2017 and he is taking full responsibility for it.
“We are aware of the build-up, but we underestimated. As commander-in-chief of the AFP and the police, there is nobody to blame, but me,” he said.
The five-month Marawi siege began when the Maute group, led by brothers Omar and Abdullah, captured parts of the city in an alleged bid to establish an Islamic State province in Mindanao.
The clashes erupted after government troops attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf senior leader Isnilon Hapilon in the city on 23 May.
The conflict prompted Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law.
At least 1,100 people, mostly terrorists, were killed in the five-month siege.
“If you want something done about me and my actuations, there is always the United Nations. There’s a forum where we air our grievance against anybody. But you don’t just take that for granted just because I’m a very small republic,” the President added.
Duterte also reiterated that he remains unperturbed if other countries disapprove of his leadership style.
“I was elected by the Filipino people. I answer only to Filipinos, not foreigners. I don’t give a sh*t if you do not like it,” he stressed.
IPT political litter
Malacañang also maintained that the International People’s Tribunal (IPT), after declaring Mr. Duterte “guilty” of human rights abuses, is not a real court but a mere human rights organization which job is nothing else but to ride on negative publicity and accusations against leaders of a nation.
Branding the IPT’s guilty verdict on Mr. Duterte as “political litter,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo Jr. described the IPT as just another tool being used by Duterte’s political foes “in a futile attempt to destroy his image and repute both in the international and local communities.”
The IPT’s decision, according to Panelo, was based on a one-sided and shallow study of what is really happening in the country, specifically the President’s war on illegal drugs.
It also never was pleased with any administration, local or foreign, being the same court which declared former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo guilty of human rights in 2005 and Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino III guilty of gross and systematic violations of human rights.
“Given these, it is difficult to dismiss the strong probability that this manipulative practice by personalities from the Left is being undertaken as another leverage to succumb to their blue-sky demands,” Panelo stated.
Go to court
Panelo urged the President’s critics to instead air their grievances before local courts if there are indeed excesses on the government’s campaign on narcotics, crusade against criminality and corruption or operations for counterinsurgency.
“These courts are more cognizant of the current state of affairs of our country while very able and willing to hear cases in relation thereto,” he said.
“As for the government, it shall maintain its serious efforts in executing the law equally but harshly against those who violate it, regardless of social status or political color. It shall as well continue its support in favor of its officers and personnel with a qualification that they should perform their duties in strict abidance of our laws.”
with Elmer N. Manuel