Obstacles against ICC case vs. Duterte PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 April 2017 13:26

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you…” (Jeremiah 26:13, the Holy Bible).

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ICC CASE AIMED AT TARNISHING DUTERTE IMAGE AT THE ASEAN MEET: I am inclined to believe that the filing of the case against President Duterte and 11 other high ranking government officials with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands is only for show, aimed at derailing the President’s image during the ASEAN ministers’ meeting this week.

I say this because there is a big stumbling block to the ICC’s agreeing to investigate the charges against the President and his allies which a lawyer of an alleged assassin filed the other day. This stumbling block could be found under Articles 17 and 20 of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC.

Under these two articles of the Rome Statute, if it is clear that the government of Duterte has shown willingness to investigate or to remedy the acts complained of, the ICC is mandated to refuse any investigation of any complaint, such as the one that was filed by the lawyer.

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OBSTACLES AGAINST ICC CASE VS. DUTERTE: As Vic Somintac and I discussed during the Tuesday, April 25, 2017 episode of “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, a Mondays to Fridays 6 am program at radio station DZEC, 1062 kHz of Radyo Agila, there is ample proof that the three branches of government at present have shown not only willingness to address the issue of so-called extra-judicial killings, but have in fact acted with dispatch on the matter.

The executive branch under President Duterte, for one, has directed government agencies to investigate the killings, coming up as a matter of official pronouncement with the information that the killings were perpetrated by drug syndicates who wanted its cohorts silenced and barred from spilling the beans against them, so to speak.

The legislative branch, under the Senate of the Philippines, on the other hand, conducted an investigation on the killings and, after several hearings, it came up with its conclusion, based on testimonial and documentary evidence, that the killings could not be considered state-sponsored.

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ICC WON’T ALLOW ITSELF TO DESTROY GOVERNMENTS: The judiciary meanwhile has given the go-signal for the detention without bail and trial of several police officers who have been accused in the killing of former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, a prime suspect in illegal drugs trading in Eastern Visayas.

Given these official acts of the government, ICC would be sure to show restraint in entertaining the complaint against the President and his allies. Certainly, the ICC would not allow itself to be a party to any effort to malign sovereign officials, or even to topple regimes on the say so of political opposition forces.

I guess that, given the example of the late President Cory Aquino who sued then columnist Luis D. Beltran who wrote that she hid under the bed while rebel forces tried to take Malacanang by force during one coup attempt against her, Duterte and his allies could also sue the lawyer and his client.

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WATCH “ANG TANGING DAAN”, “KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS”, AT FB LIVE: Please watch “Ang Tanging Daan”, a round-the-clock Bible Exposition and prayer session at  www.facebook.com/angtangingdaan; and  “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas”, a legal counseling and news commentary program at www.facebook.com/kakampimoangbatas. Reactions: 0917 984 24 68, 0918 574 0193, 0977 805 9058. Email: batasmauricio@yahoo.com.