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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trillanes, Alejano fly to The Hague to file complaint vs. Duterte at ICC

Published June 6, 2017 5:12pm

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano on Tuesday (Manila time) filed a supplemental communication against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and the killings of drug suspects highlight the need to “immediately” open a preliminary examination.

The 45-page communication personally filed by Trillanes and Alejano at The Hague, Netherlands was filed more than a month after the communication filed by Atty. Jude Sabio, lawyer of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato.

Sabio accused Duterte of crimes against humanity amid a nationwide crackdown on illegal drugs.

“It must be emphasized that hardly one month after the communication from the Philippines was filed, the killings in the Philippines continued, and no genuine effort can be seen from the government to abate or at least investigate these killings, thus, proving in fact that the killings are a national policy of President Duterte and, therefore, state-sponsored,” the two lawmakers said.

They said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda should conduct a preliminary examination on the situation in the Philippines “as a matter of law and conscience,” as the “state is unwilling” to investigate the killings and “unable to prosecute” Duterte.

Trillanes and Alejano said the mode of impeachment can no longer make Duterte accountable to the crimes he allegedly committed, after it was junked by the House of Representatives. It was Alejano who had filed the impeachment complaint against Duterte.

GMA News Online is still trying to reach Malacañang for comment.

The President is immune from any other impeachment bid for a year, or until May 9, 2018, after the Alejano complaint was officially dismissed with a vote of 217-4-0 last month.

There was also “no genuine effort” on the part of the Senate to “seek the truth,” they said, citing the Senate public order committee’s probe on the allegations against Duterte and the so-called Davao Death Squad.

“This apparent impunity on the part of the main perpetrator/ accused, President Duterte, is borne by his confidence that he will never be held accountable by the institutions (of checks and balance) since they are also under his control,” they said in the complaint.

President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, and his earlier pronouncement on the possibility of extending it nationwide also stresses the “urgency” of the need for a preliminary examination, Trillanes and Alejano said in a joint statement.

“There is no doubt that with these recent developments, and with the multiple daily killings of drug suspects being a persistent and regular occurrence in the entire Philippines, there is now a more imperative and compelling need for the Office of the Prosecutor to immediately open a Preliminary Examination on these apparent crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the Administration of President Duterte,” they said.

The complainants also want at least 11 police officers held criminally liable for either ordering, facilitating, or in any way contributing to the commission or attempted commission of a crime through the implementation of Oplan Tokhang, the administration's anti-drug campaign.

They are Police Chief Superintendent Joel Coronel, Police Chief Superintendent Jesus Martirez, Police Chief inspector Rexson Layug, Police Senior Inspector Nathaniel Jacob, Police Senior Inspector Magdalino Pimentel, Jr., Police Inspector Markson S. Almeranez, SPO3 Jonathan Bautista, PO3 Ronald Buad Alvarez, PO1 Sherwin Mipa, Police Officer Edmar Latagan, and Police Officer Marcelino Pedrozo III.

Trillanes and Alejano also wanted the ICC to hold liable the anonymous police officers mentioned in the separate reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on the war on drugs.

“[The] survey of cases, as reported in the media and as investigated by various institutions and human rights bodies, indicates that the practice of killing illegal drug personalities is widespread throughout the country. While happening nationwide, these killings, however, have the same pattern and, therefore, systematic,” they said.

Trillanes and Alejano were considered among the leaders of the Magdalo group whose members took over the Oakwood hotel in Makati on July 27, 2003 to denounce the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. — MDM, GMA News


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