Hypocrisy overflows during a politically-charged season, which is the case in the current debate on the moves of the country’s officials in the face of the renewed pressure from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has sought a probe on the conduct of the war on drugs.
ICC’s push is clearly partisan based on its timing, which is close to the filing of candidacy for next year’s polls which signals the start of the election season.
House Appropriations Committee chair and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Yap, in a privilege speech last week, needled Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III after he exposed his duplicity regarding the ICC.
The House member noticed Pimentel has been doing the media rounds, saying the government should allow the international tribunal to hold its probe; a few years back, it was Pimentel who led the call for the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute that created the ICC.
In gist, it was said Pimentel has lost credibility for using the ICC to advance his political agenda. In the same manner, the tribunal is bereft of integrity for allowing itself to become the ammunition of forces seeking to weaken President Rodrigo Duterte’s hold on power.
The ICC no longer has credibility today, because it is just being used by politicians who want to succeed, or those who want to be president in the coming elections, according to Yap.
Pimentel is pushing for the candidacy of Sen. Manny Pacquiao for president in the elections in May next year.
“ICC is letting itself be used and it has become a political tool of the opponents,” he added.
What irritated Yap is the difference in his statements in 2018 and recently about the ICC.
Pimentel on 14 March 2018 announced to newspapers his support to the Philippine withdrawal from the ICC, while also dismissing as without basis the case filed against Mr. Duterte.
“On 19 September 2021, the line has become ‘Government should be cooperative in ICC drug war probe,’ and I nearly fell off my chair,” Yap shared.
Legal luminaries had said the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the country, since it has a fully functioning judiciary that makes the tribunal’s effort to look into cases already with the courts an intrusion into the justice system.
They said the more obvious motive of the ICC is to drum up support for the opponents of the President for next year’s elections, where Mr. Duterte retains strong influence on the votes because of his unusually high survey numbers.
The ICC, last 15 September, approved the request of former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who retired last June, for judicial authority to proceed with a probe on the crimes against humanity complaints filed versus President Duterte and his men.
Another hypocrite, Bensouda had long targeted Mr. Duterte since all she can show in her stint that started in 2012 were investigations and a few prosecutions involving African leaders.
It did not matter to Bensouda that the basis of the allegations against President Duterte all came from his political foes, led by destabilizer Antonio Trillanes IV.
A blessing in disguise is that during the open political season, voters unmask hideous politicians and personalities who care for nothing but to advance their selfish interest.