Complaint Against Duterte Before ICC Is A Big Joke

IMG_0809The 77-page complaint filed by Atty. Jude Sabio boils down to two issues that do not meet the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) strict criteria in order to charge a person or persons of “crimes against humanity.”

But first, let us make it crystal clear that Sabio’s letter-complaint does NOT constitute the filing of a case against Duterte and others named in his submission.  Only the Office of the Prosecutor can file such a case if it finds any merit in the complaint to even start an investigation.

The ICC may take cases only under certain conditions, including when a nation’s own judicial system is unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute.

The fact that not a single criminal case has been filed in a local court against Duterte even while he was mayor of Davao City only shows that those who claim the existence of the Davao Death Squads (DDS) cannot come up with any concrete evidence to establish probably cause to charge him.

The Philippines has its own judicial process to prosecute crimes.

Now that Duterte is president, there are out-of-court proceedings that are in place, including impeachment which was recently filed in Congress.

So to say that the country’s own judicial ethics system is unable or unwilling to investigate or prosecute Duterte does not pass the one important criteria by the ICC in order to entertain a case.

Secondly, Sabio’s complaint cites investigations by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and a statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) denouncing the antidrug campaign as a “reign of terror.”

The world knows that the human rights organizations are not necessarily the most competent arbiter of abuses or crimes since their information doesn’t always come from official sources.  Most accusations by these organizations are based on anecdotal evidence or on unproven, biased reports from the news media and partisan sources.

As far as the CBCP is concerned, it is neither a reliable source of accurate information — information that is often challenged by their own constituents.

I have not read the 77 pager, but I can only imagine that Sabio also cites the testimonies of his client, Edgar Matobato, and Oscar Lascañas — both self-confessed murderers who have all but proven their lack of credibility as perjured witnesses.

Sabio says he is filing the complaint not on behalf of the two but on his own accord.  And for what motivation?  To represent the entire Filipino nation? That’s laughable at best.  Or perhaps to build an international reputation as lawyer or even a patriot?  A big joke.

We have no evidence to point to any one person or group that is funding this high-profile  complaint with the ICC.  But we don’t have to be a lawyer like Sabia to know that money is flowing from somewhere. To bring a case to the ICC doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It involves travel, communications, strategy meetings, an international media blitz and all…

This is simply a waste of time and resources for the ICC, resources which would be better spent going after world personalities involved in genocide and war crimes.  And yes, crimes against humanity, which the Philippines’ war on drugs is not.

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