Appeal to Marcos: Give ICC entry and let Duterte prove his innocence | Inquirer Opinion

Appeal to Marcos: Give ICC entry and let Duterte prove his innocence

/ 04:05 AM April 24, 2024

I cannot understand President Marcos’ continued refusal to allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate former president Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged crimes against humanity, for causing the death of thousands of Filipinos in his failed drug war.

As president, he has the weighty responsibility to uphold the rule of law and to see to it that justice is served. His namby-pamby stand proves him to be just your regular traditional politician who thinks only of his own vested and selfish interests. A real statesman would have a utilitarian mindset; he’d be someone who knows that the best actions are those that result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people. He chooses the actions that will result in the best overall consequences for his people.

If Mr. Marcos believes that Duterte is innocent, he should convince the former president to face the music. Coddling and protecting him would just be sending the message that you are, after all, birds of a feather flocking together, crows that ravage the cornfields in unity and band. How would the victims feel that you two are performing the danse macabre over the graves of their dearly departed?

Before the first visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines, on Jan. 17, 1981, the President’s father Ferdinand Marcos Sr. lifted martial law through Proclamation No. 2045. The Pope, who was a staunch advocate of human rights and used his position and influence to effect positive political change in the world, wrote an essay titled “Reflections on Working Toward Peace.”The President should listen to what this great religious leader and statesman said: “An offense against human rights is an offense against the conscience of humanity, an offense against humanity itself. The duty of protecting these rights therefore extends beyond the geographical and political borders within which they are violated. Crimes against humanity cannot be considered an internal affair of a nation. The ICC was established to try such crimes, regardless of the place or circumstances in which they are committed. We must thank God that in the conscience of peoples and nations there is a growing conviction that human rights have no borders, because they are universal and indivisible.”


The indisputable fact remains that many people died during Duterte’s war on drugs and someone must have caused their deaths. Can there be a crime without a criminal? Let the ICC come in and let Duterte prove his innocence—it’s that simple! If Duterte is the BFF of no less than the living Son of God himself, then why is he afraid of appearing before what for him is merely a court run by lowly mortal kangaroos?

Our world has become a dangerous place to live in, not just because of the people who are evil but also because of the people who won’t do anything about it. To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it. The President is invested with the power to do what is right and to impose and implement justice though the heavens fall. When a man cannot choose good over evil, he ceases to be a man, let alone a president.

The dark period of Duterte’s war on drugs will live in infamy and time, history, and God Himself will judge its perpetrators, enablers, and abettors according to what they did or did not do at the height of the conflagration. This is no time to dillydally. The President should choose to do what is right and good.

Antonio Calipjo Go,

[email protected]

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