Cooperation with ICC: Whose word carries more weight?
The Supreme Court has ruled: “Withdrawing from the Rome Statute does not discharge a state from the obligations it has incurred as a member… Consequently, liability for the alleged summary killings and other atrocities committed in the course of the war on drugs is not nullified or negated here” (“Inevitable fate,” Opinion, 7/27/21). It was a unanimous pronouncement by the highest court of our land. No one, not even any of President Duterte’s appointees, dissented.
Only Palace spokesperson Harry Roque “dissented” in defense of his boss, lamely arguing that it was “obiter dictum” or, to his way of thinking, empty words—in a 101-page resolution!—since the petition questioning Mr. Duterte’s unilateral withdrawal was itself dismissed for being “moot and academic” following the United Nations’ acceptance of that withdrawal. The withdrawal was Mr. Duterte’s desperate attempt to escape criminal prosecution for his alleged crimes against humanity in the conduct of his war on drugs, which has seen the slaughter of tens of thousands of suspected drug users and pushers, including innocent bystanders.
Bottom line is, between 15 Supreme Court justices who were one in ruling that Mr. Duterte is obliged to cooperate in the criminal process, and Roque by his lonesome who disagreed that his boss is not so obliged, is there ever any doubt in any right-thinking person’s mind whose word carries more weight? So, is this really now the absurd, ridiculous extent to which the former University of the Philippines College of Law professor is willing to go in his obsequious service to his principal?
Angeli O. Marconi, [email protected]
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