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Equity means justice

Mr. Duterte underlined his commitment that the Filipino people wanted to live in peace and security.



Before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, President Rodrigo Duterte spoke about the virtue of a strong mandate bestowed on a leader, buttressed his case on sovereignty and his mandate to fulfill obligations to the Filipino people.

In an indirect reference to the International Criminal Court or ICC and its decision to investigate the conduct of the war on drugs, he said it his duty to deal with “all criminals — including terrorists — with the full force of our laws.”

The ICC case against the President revolves around the allegations of extrajudicial killings which, depending on who in the demolition cabal is talking, ranges from 6,000 to 20,000 individuals.
Mr. Duterte underlined his commitment that the Filipino people wanted to live in peace and security, “free from harm and danger from the lawless.”

Likewise, he hinted on the difficulties that he faced in meeting his promises with the people.

“I have instructed the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police to review the conduct of our campaign against illegal drugs,” he added.

He indicated clearly that “those found to have acted beyond bounds during (police) operations shall be made accountable before our laws.”

The President cited the Joint Program on Human Rights, which was crafted together with the UN in which there will be a “constructive engagement” between both sides.

What the President does not want is the intrusive presence of foreign organizations which impose “one’s will over another.”

The ICC’s credibility is largely shot as a result of its being tagged as a colonial tool of the West.

Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Philippines share a common history of slavery and colonialism at the hands of nations generally referred to as the West.

The current asymmetrical relationship between former colonizers and the colonized is considered a continuation of the oppressive past.

ICC is the product of an international system that has close relations to the Eurocentric colonial practices.

The tribunal, as part of the international criminal justice system, was formed to ensure the most heinous human rights violations are penalized.

Many assess the ICC’s operation as failing despite huge sums spent to make it viable, or around $1 billion since it started operations in 2002.

It boasts a yearly budget of $100 million and only two convictions to show, which has put the organization in a corner in fighting off suggestions that the world is better off without it.

Developing countries are believed to be an easy target because the political costs for the ICC in pursuing them are low.

Daniel Abebe, a professor of law and Walter Mander teaching scholar at the University of Chicago, said the ICC focus on Africa, for instance, exemplified the weakness of the court.

“It simply lacks the capacity to pursue violators from politically powerful member countries and force them to cooperate.”

Add to that its leaderships frequent coopting with the world’s liberal democrats.

As what has been said, President Duterte has a mission to fulfill to ensure that laws are followed in his country.

Self-determination means that no foreign organization can impose their will on the country.