Despite the administration’s efforts to nullify the Philippines’ accession to the Rome Statute and its refusal to recognize the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV remains confident that in the end, the ICC’s investigation into the government’s bloody war on drugs campaign will lead to the arrest of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ako’y naniniwala na magsisimula sila ng investigation proper at mag-iisyu sila ng warrant of arrest para kay Duterte,” said Trillanes on Thursday during an interview with DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan program with Cesar Chavez.
According to the opposition lawmaker, the President’s allegedly “self-serving” move to have the Philippines withdraw from the international accord can’t make him get off the hook as it will have no effect on the ICC’s jurisdiction and its preliminary investigation into the complaint against Duterte.
He said Duterte’s case would push through as this was filed before the Philippines’ exit from the agreement, which will not take effect until March 2019, and after the country ratified the statute via the Philippine Senate’s concurrence on August 23, 2011.
“Do’n sa jurisdiction, maliwanag na pasok na pasok si Mister Duterte kasi ‘yong acts alleged na nasa Rome Statute…ay ginawa after na nagpirma tayo dyaan at ratipikahan ‘yang Rome Statue na ‘yan at ginawa sa Pilipinas at citizen s’ya no’ng isang signatory state. So maliwanag ‘yong jurisdiction,” said Trillanes.
In terms of admissible evidence against the President before the ICC, the senator believes that Duterte will ruin himself through his own words as he allegedly declared during the start of his administration that he would kill Filipinos.
According to Trillanes, 20,000 Filipinos have died so far because of the administration’s war on drugs but no investigation is being done on the person ultimately responsible for the killings, who he claims is no one but the President.
“‘Yong admissibility, maliwanag din ‘yong complimentarity issue na sinasabi kasi walang naging imbestigasyon doon sa pinakaresponsable dito sa 20,000 na namatay. By the way…20,000 na ang namatay na Pilipino, walang pinaparusahan kung sino ang responsable d’yan at kilala natin kung sino ang nag-announce ng policy of killings, si Duterte mismo,” said Trillanes.
“Kasi no’ng panahon ni PNoy maliwanag wala namang ganito. Nang umupo s’ya, sabi n’ya papatayin n’ya yong Pilipino, eh pinatay n’ya, so huli s’ya ngayon,” he added.
[There was nothing like this during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III. When he (Duterte) assumed office, he said he would kill Filipinos and he killed them, so he is caught now.]
Trillanes: ICC probe won’t be hindered by Duterte, PH law enforcers’ non-participation
The lawmaker said that even if Duterte orders Philippine law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with the ICC’s investigation as what the chief executive had announced recently, this would not hinder the court from getting into the bottom of the issue as there are lots of other witnesses who could testify against the President.
Also, Trillanes said it wasn’t the first time that the ICC had handled a case of an antagonistic leader of a country.
In fact, the ICC “was conceptualized based on the assumption that the sitting administration of a country is hostile,” according to the senator.
“(N)a s’ya nga ‘yong nang-o-oppress sa mga tao n’ya. Ito (ICC) ay para sa mga taong pinapatay arbitrarily ng kanyang gobyerno [That he is the one oppressing his own people. The ICC is for people who are being arbitrarily killed by their own government],” said Trillanes.
“So kahit hindi s’ya (Duterte) mag-participate, andami hong testigo, andami hong documented na ebidensya para mapatunayan na itong mga namatay na ito under the administration of Duterte ay s’ya ang responsible,” he added.
[So even if he doesn’t participate, there are lost of other witnesses, there are lots of documented evidence to prove that Duterte is responsible for those who have died under his administration.]
Trillanes says Duterte a ‘big liar,’ to question ICC withdrawal before SC
Meanwhile, Trillanes said that at the right time, he would question before the Supreme Court the administration’s move to withdraw from the ICC, which he claimed was a “self-serving” act by Duterte. The senator believes that the executive branch cannot just decide on its own and that the the Senate, which ratified the Rome Statute, has a say on the move to exit from the accord.
“(S) tamang panahon ay ire-raise natin ito sa Supreme Court para ma-undo itong ginawa ni Mister Duterte. Remember that this decision of his is self-serving kasi papabor sa kanya,” he said.
Trillanes said his arch political enemy was such a big liar for claiming that the Rome Statute wasn’t valid because it was not published in the government’s official gazette.
“Inilabas ko ‘yong Executive Order 259 na pinirmahan ni President Ramos no’ng 1998. Nakalagay do’n ‘yong mga requirements ng isang…international treaty or executive agreement bago ito ma-enter into force. At wala do’n ‘yong requirement na kailangan itong ma-publish sa official gazette. Pang-domestic laws ‘yon,” the lawmaker said, referring to the documents he presented during his privilege speech at the Senate last Wednesday.
[I came out with Executive Order 259 that was signed by President Fidel Ramos in 1998. It stated there the requirements for an international treaty or executive agreement before it enters into force. And there was nothing in the requirements stating that the agreement must first be published in the official gazette before its enforcement. It only applies to domestic laws.]
“So napakasinungaling nitong Presidenteng ito. Maliwanag ‘yan. Kaya even ‘yong kanyang flimsy reason for withdrawal is not valid. So talagang gusto lang n’yang matanggal sa ICC dahil iniimbestigahan s’ya at alam n’yang bistado s’ya rito at wala s’yang lusot.”
[So this President is a big liar. It’s clear. Thus even his flimsy reason for withdrawal is not valid. So he just likes to withdraw from the ICC because he is being investigated and he is already caught and can’t get off the hook.]