As if on cue, just as the yellow minions, primarily Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV had run out of ammunitions against President Rody Duterte, out comes the International Criminal Court (ICC) report that it has been conducting a “preliminary examination” on the allegations of extrajudicial killings in Rody’s war on drugs.
The report was a mere reiteration of the steps which the ICC were taking which was nothing new, but which keeps the vile allegations alive, a continuation of the vicious noises that his detractors wanted to keep constant.
The whole exercise will turn into a propaganda offensive taking the face of legitimacy through the ICC rather than an actual probe which suits the need of Rody’s detractors.
The ICC has been notorious for its slow grind, taking years for complaints filed with it to be resolved, thus affording endless publicity opportunities.
Rody’s rants against ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was the result of such inequity when she keeps on announcing the steps being taken, giving a false impression that an actual probe is on the way, yet it has not even determined if it acquired jurisdiction over the case.
For that to happen, the ICC should establish that the government is unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute the national for the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crime of aggressions.
Yet, the local courts are not inutile as proven by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court’s conviction of three police officers for the murder of 17-year-old Kian Lloyd de los Santos during an anti-narcotics operation.
Bensouda recognized the basic principle of sovereignty when she stated that “under the Rome Statute, national jurisdiction has the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute those responsible for international crimes,” yet her publicity stunt continues.
Her style is strikingly similar to that of retired Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales when she kept quiet about terminating the plunder case filed by Trillanes against Rody, but did all the media rounds when it was filed.
Trillanes filed a ridiculous case against Duterte in May 2016 over allegations that he kept unexplained wealth and undeclared bank accounts when he was Davao City mayor.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said he discovered the dismissal when he inquired from the Office of the Ombudsman, through a letter, the status of the criminal complaint filed by Trillanes.
Rody insisted the ICC was created through a European Union (EU)-sponsored treaty.
The EU, of course, has been relentless in the attacks against Rody, which is mainly based on the charges of his critics regarding the supposed number of extrajudicial killings, which has been debunked as being inflated.
Earlier, the government, through Rody’s directive, had notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the ICC, saying the stand was against “those who would politicize and weaponize human rights.”
The ICC, similar to its Western financiers, imposes yardsticks that are not applicable to most Asian countries that follow their own traditions.
The tribunal, which depends largely on Western support, is not even recognized by major countries, such as the United States, Russia and China.
The primacy of Filipinos’ interest above the dictum of foreign powers is Rody’s guiding principle in withdrawing the country as signatory to the Rome statute, the international covenant that created the ICC.
The anti-narcotics campaign from which the unfounded charges against Rody were based is clearly a legitimate law enforcement operation designed to protect all Filipinos and uphold the rule of law.
Rody maintained that it is the inherent responsibility of the government to adopt and implement measures consistent with domestic laws to effectively address threats to the safety and well-being of their citizens.
No wonder that Bensouda and Morales are identical twins since selective justice knows no boundaries primarily when the goal involved is ousting a democratically elected leader.