“President Duterte has joined national leaders and military commanders in the worldwide roster of infamous individuals ensnared under the jurisdiction of the ICC,” he said. He said the leaders included Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Boy Santos
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is now in the league of leaders worldwide investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC), opposition Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay said yesterday.
“President Duterte has joined national leaders and military commanders in the worldwide roster of infamous individuals ensnared under the jurisdiction of the ICC,” he said. He said the leaders included Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
“The ICC is an international tribunal that investigates and tries persons charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community, which include crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes, and the crime of aggression,” he added.
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Lagman pointed out that the tribunal “is part of the global fight to end impunity, and through international criminal justice, it aims to hold accountable those responsible for their crimes and to help prevent these widespread, systematic crimes from happening again.”
“Crimes against humanity refer to specific crimes committed in the context of a large-scale attack targeting civilians. These crimes include murder, torture, sexual violence, enslavement, persecution, enforced disappearance, and allied offenses,” he said.
He said Gaddafi was indicted on June 27, 2011 on two counts of crimes against humanity.
The Libyan leader was accused of planning, “in conjunction with his inner circle of advisers, a policy of violent oppression of popular uprisings in the early weeks of the Libyan civil war.”
He was killed in the Libyan city of Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011 and the ICC terminated proceedings against him on Nov. 22, 2011.
Lagman said Laurent Gbagbo, president of Cote d’ Ivoire, and his wife Simone, faced four counts of crimes against humanity for “systematic attacks against civilians” after an election in 2010.
The Ivorian president’s trial started on Jan. 28, 2016, while his wife was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment, he said.
He said Charles Ble Goude, leader of a youth organization that supported President Laurent Gbagbo, is also facing trial for four counts of crimes against humanity.
He added that Dominic Ongwen, a commander of an armed group fighting the Ugandan government, is on trial for 34 counts of crimes against humanity, while Germain Katanga, alleged leader of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in May 2014.
Lagman said the ICC issued two warrants of arrest on March 4, 2009 and July 12, 2010 against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, president of Sudan, on five counts of crimes against humanity. The Sudanese leader is at large.
“While some of the cases had been dismissed and some convictions are pending appeal, the fact remains that the ICC is determined to investigate and prosecute those alleged to have committed crimes against humanity, including summary executions against civilians leveled against Duterte,” Lagman said.
He said the administration’s goal of eradicating the drug menace “neither justifies nor condones the extermination of civilian suspects without due process.”
The ICC is set to conduct a “preliminary examination” of the administration’s bloody anti-drug war and reports of extrajudicial killings.
In Chicago last Friday, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said in a meeting with the Filipino community that there is a good chance the ICC preliminary examination could lead to the filing of charges against Duterte.
Trillanes said there was a preponderance of evidence against the President and this would come out in the initial phase of examination.
A critic of Duterte, Trillanes is in the US to muster support among the Filipino community and human rights activists to hold the President accountable for the killings. From Chicago he is due to visit Los Angeles.
Earlier here, he accused Duterte of “brainwashing” Filipinos to support his war on drugs by magnifying the problem of drug addiction and propagating “fake news.”
Duterte is a “master of propaganda and deception” and has convinced a lot of Filipinos that the killing of drug addicts and pushers without trial is justified, he told a forum organized by the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank. – With Jose Katigbak / Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) – February 11, 2018 – 12:00am
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