MANILA – To the mental hospital.
This is where cases against President Rodrigo Duterte over his alleged policy encouraging extra-judicial killings should be brought, instead of the International Criminal Court, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Tuesday.
Alvarez was asked if he was bothered by the complaint recently filed by lawyer Jude Sabio accusing Duterte of crimes against humanity over the killings linked to the drug war.
He replied, “No. In the first place, ICC has no jurisdiction over it. It should have been filed at the mental hospital.”
Asked why he said it should be brought to the mental hospital, Alvarez said, “Para sa akin [For me it’s], baseless. I don’t know if [the] ICC eh extension na ng mental hospital, pwede nilang dinggin iyon [if the ICC is already an extension of the mental hospital, they could hear the case].”
The Speaker insisted the issue of alleged extrajudicial killings was an “internal matter.”
“I don’t think in the first place na dapat makialam ang ICC, mas malalaking issue ang dapat nilang pakialaman, hindi iyong problema natin [In the first place the ICC should not meddle; they should step in to far bigger problems, not ours],” he said.
On Monday, after the House Committee on Justice junked the impeachment complaint against Duterte, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano – the complainant and endorser – announced he was planning to raise the case before the ICC based in The Hague.
“Where else can we go to complain? We have nowhere to go,” Alejano had said.
Alvarez said the impeachment complaint was dead.
“[It might have been] cremated [already],” he added, speaking partly in Filipino.
Alejano said he found it “not proper” for Alvarez to speak about the ICC and the killings in such manner.
“That shows he really deserves to be a respondent of one of the ICC cases, that shows [they are covering up the] crimes [of the President],” said Alejano, referring to the Speaker.
Alvarez was one of the 12 respondents in the case filed by Sabio. The 77-page complaint said that the officials should be liable for crimes against humanity in connection with the nationwide crackdown on drugs.
The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC, the first permanent international court that is capable of trying perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, the Statute’s four core international crimes.
The Philippines is a state party to the Rome Statute, together with other 123 state parties, having ratified it in August 2011.
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