Duterte and other war criminals face international prosecution at the ICC

That the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has pushed for the prosecution of the case(s) filed against [baka maka-acquit pa for reason of insanity] former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte and his cohorts for mass murder and war crimes, is strong evidence of the serious concern of the international community on the brutal reign of impunity and state terror in the Philippines.

A ‘mass murder’ complaint and crimes against humanity case were filed against Duterte before the International Criminal Court in The Hague on 24 April 2017 by a Filipino lawyer who accused Duterte of masterminding the killings of suspected drug users and dealers.

In evaluating the complaint, the ICC said that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ was not a legitimate law enforcement program, and the killings were neither legitimate nor mere excesses in otherwise legitimate operations. These widespread and systematic attacks against the civilians took place in furtherance of a state policy, they emphasized.

Though facing many stumbling blocks, the ICC investigation serves as a reminder that impunity cannot persist indefinitely, and that those who commit crimes against the people must and will eventually face accountability. 

This also represents a glimmer of hope for the thousands of victims and their families to see justice. More than one thousand families have joined the complaints filed at the ICC. The complaint filed at the ICC has named Duterte, his former chief of police, Ronald dela Rosa, Duterte bodyguard Bong Go, and several other former Duterte officials and police officers and called for investigation.

Corrupt and elite politics in the Philippines, together with its “kangaroo courts”, serve to protect the rich, powerful, corrupt and fascist.

The ICC has rejected desperate attempts, first by the Duterte fascist regime, when it was still in power, and later by the Marcos Jr regime, to lodge obstacles and block the investigation. 

The ICC has decided to proceed with its investigation and prosecution of the war crimes of Duterte after the rotten and dysfunctional justice system in the Philippines has failed, to show, that it is able to prosecute those who actually executed the orders of Duterte and his cohorts. More than 30,000 drug suspects, mostly users and small-time pushers, majority of whom came from very poor families and communities, were killed. A number of them were children, women and minors.

Duterte’s drug war was a cover for the former president to corner the drug trade, making himself the biggest drug lord who used the drug war to blackmail his political opponents, silence his critics, buy off politicians to kowtow to his bloody rule, and haul the booty.

Deathly scared of losing its political alliance with Duterte and his cohorts and of the very possible prospect of facing similar war crimes, the condemnation of the international community, and of history repeating itself with reminders of the humiliating downfall of US-Marcos Sr. fascist dictatorship in 1986, the US-Marcos Jr fascist regime is doing all it can to prevent the ICC from doing its work, to defend and protect Duterte and his cohorts and to preserve its filthy political survival.#