By Mortz C. Ortigoza
SAN CARLOS CITY – A lady senator said it is the right of the complainant to sue Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
“Iyon ang mga karapatan ng mga naniniwala. Dapat merong i-isplika at pananagutan
(That is the right of those who believe in the ICC for the respondent to answer the charges against him),” Senator Grace Poe stressed.
GRACES EVENT. San Carlos City Mayor Joseres Resuelo guides Senator Grace Poe when the latter graced recently the Mango- Bamboo Festivals of the 86 villages’ city in Pangasinan. San Carlos is the birthplace of the solon’s father the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Duterte was charged by lawyer Jude Josue Sabio at the ICC for crime against humanity after thousands of Filipinos were murdered in the illegal drug war launched by the president after he assumed office middle of last year. Major witnesses against the feisty president are self-confessed Davao Death Squad’s hit man Edgar Matobato and retired police sergeant Arthur Lascañas.
Sabio in his 77 pages complaint accused Duterte for the murder of 9,400 people who were mostly poor young men, bystanders, children, and political opponents.
Poe, rival of Duterte in the last presidential election, welcomed the filing against the president to the international court so it can publicly prove if there is basis to the charges against him.
“Kung merong basehan e di matutuloy. Kung walang basehan kahit sino naman puweding pumunta diyan. Basta ang importante sa ating bansa ang mapanatili natin ang rule of law at ang sistema ng maayos at para sa hustisya (If there is basis so be it. If it is baseless well anybody can file a case there. The most important thing in our country is we maintain the rule of law, order, and what is best for our justice system)”, she said.
Aside from Duterte, the other 11 respondents accused by Sabio are Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Philippine National Police Director General Vitaliano Aguirre, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, Police Superintendent Edilberto Leonardo, Senior Police Officer 4 Sanson "Sonny" Buenaventura, Police Superintendent Royina Garma, National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Sen. Richard Gordon, and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.