Filtered By: Topstories

Padilla files reso urging Senate to defend ex-President Duterte from ICC prosecution

Senator Robin Padilla on Monday filed a resolution urging the Senate to declare its "unequivocal defense" of former President Rodrigo Duterte in any investigation or prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In filing proposed Resolution 488, Padilla argued that the Philippines has a functioning and independent judicial system.

He also quoted Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla's remarks that the ICC is "insulting us" and describing the case as "totally unacceptable" after a panel of judges at the ICC in the Hague authorized the Office of the Prosecutor to resume its investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines.

He claimed that the country's peace and order situation has considerably improved due to the previous administration's holistic and whole nation approach in ending insurgency and curbing the drug menace in the country that resulted in unprecedented growth in exports and investment.

Padilla's resolution came days after a group of House members led by former President and Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed a similar resolution defending Duterte of any probe by the international tribunal.

Duterte's drug war has been blamed for thousands of deaths, with government figures pegging it at around 6,000, but human rights groups say it could reach as high as 30,000.

The ICC in January announced that it is reopening its investigation into the killings that happened purportedly as a result of Duterte's bloody war on drugs, saying it "is not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the court's investigations."

Remulla had described the ICC's move as unwelcome and an irritant, noting that he would not stand for any antics that would tend to question the Philippines' status as a sovereign country.

Still, the Philippines notified the ICC earlier this month that it would appeal the decision.

Duterte, meanwhile, defended his drug war, saying his administration had to carry it out to fulfill his sworn duty to protect Filipinos.

The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019 during the Duterte administration.—AOL, GMA Integrated News