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6月18日のまにら新聞から

Palace "pacified" after seeing 52-page ICC prosecutor's report, believes case vs Duterte won't proceed

[ 398 words|2021.6.18|英字 (English) ]

Malacanang has been "pacified" after reading the 52-page preliminary examination report by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda over President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged crimes against humanity due to his bloody war on illegal drugs, an official admitted on Thrusday.

In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he sent a copy of the press release made by the ICC Prosecutor's Office and later, a copy of the 52-page opinion of the ICC prosecutor to Duterte.

"And immediately his (Duterte's) reaction was, 'why is it like this, why did the prosecutor just cited Rappler, ABS-CBN (reports)?'. That's why after we saw the 52-page decision, knowing that they were citing Rappler and ABS-CBN and Inquirer, we were somewhat pacified because in law, all these newspaper accounts are mere hearsay," he said when asked of Duterte's reaction of the development before the ICC.

Duterte and Roque are lawyers.

Roque said Duterte just "shrugged off" Bensouda's report.

He said all lawyers know that a report, relying on media sources, will not stand in court.

"And since you need the judicial authorization to proceed an investigation, lawyers know that you cannot start any proceedings on the basis of hearsay evidence. So, we are confident. Even if the investigation continues, what I'm saying is the sources to be used all came from the media and the leftist groups, that won't stand because there is also a stage in ICC called 'confirmation of charges'," he explained.

Before an actual case is filed before the ICC court, he said there is a need for the confirmation first by the pre-trial chamber.

Roque said the Palace will just allow the Department of Justice to continue with its job of investigating alleged cases of extrajudicial killings.

"We will allow and let the DOJ do its job because that is really the obligation of the Philippine state to investigate, proscute, and punish if need be," he said.

Bensouda announced on June 14 that she has concluded her preliminary examination in the Philippines. She is seeking authorization from the Court’s judges for a full investigation into crimes against humanity, torture and other inhumane acts committed in connection with the country’s “war on drugs.”

These include extrajudicial executions committed by police in “anti-drug operations” following incitement and encouragement by high-ranking officials, including Duterte.

When he assumed the presidency in 2016, Duterte declared an all-out war against illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS