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Gordon: Duterte has right to order ICC probers’ arrest

Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday said it is the right of the President to protect the country from foreign entities that attempt to destabilize it.

Gordon made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to have investigators of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrested should they visit the country to probe the alleged state sanctioned killings related to the administration's war on drugs.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, Gordon said he himself would not sign the treaty making the Philippines a member of the ICC.

"Alam mo ako, hindi ako pipirma diyan sa ICC na 'yan e dahil diminution talaga ng sovereignty natin 'yan e. Akalain mo, ibang bansa papasok dito, mag-iimbestiga," he said.

"As far as the President is concerned, he has the right to protect the country. Kapag ang mga ito ay gagawa lang ng hindi mabuti, dine-destabilize ang bayan natin, he has that right," he added.

At a press briefing on Friday, Duterte maintained that the ICC has no jurisdiction on the communication filed by lawyer Jude Sabio in April last year.

He said the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, is not enforceable in the Philippines as it was not published in the government's publication or commercial newspaper.

“Kaya ikaw Ms. Fatou [ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda], ‘wag kang pumunta dito because I will bar you. Not because I am afraid of you, I said, because you will never have jurisdiction over my person, not in a million years,” Duterte said.

The ICC is currently determining whether it has jurisdiction to probe allegations against Duterte of state sanctioned killings in his war on drugs.

Police blamed

Gordon said it is not the government itself that is responsible for the alleged state-sanctioned killings but the police.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which Gordon chairs, has earlier conducted an investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings linked to the war on drugs.

"The police [is responsible]. That's why I said nung lumabas ang Korte Suprema na magpaliwanag ang pulis at ibigay ang ebidensya, I supported the Supreme Court," he said.

"Tungkulin ng pulis na ipaliwanag sa tao kung bakit namatay," he added.

Gordon said there should be fairness in the investigation of the ICC.

"Dapat patas ang labanan. Tapos may mga tao na pupunta pa doon, hihiyain tayo. Ayoko nun," he added.

Duterte last month ordered that the Philippines withdrawal from the ICC, citing “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against him and his administration. —Erwin Colcol/ALG, GMA News