Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte may have incriminated himself on criminal charges filed against him, following his recent statement admitting that he is a “dictator.”
“I am sure that the ICC is taking due notice of the President’s latest statement, especially as it conducts its preliminary examination into his alleged crimes,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“The ICC was created precisely to prosecute those who have committed crimes against humanity, many of whom were dictators. By admitting that he is a dictator, voluntarily and without pressure from anyone, President Duterte just made the ICC’s job simpler,” she added.
Recently, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to conduct its preliminary examination on the alleged summary executions related to Duterte’s campaign to suppress the narcotics problem in the Philippines.
She added that Duterte has repeatedly exposed himself to the charge of crimes through his words and deed.
“The international court will now refer to his public admission, together with his other documented undemocratic practices, as proof of his utter disregard for democracy and human rights that resulted in colossal abuses in our country,” Hontiveros said.
“A fish is caught by its mouth and a foul man by his deeds. President Duterte is the best witness against himself. I am confident that the ICC has documented all of these,” she added.
Duterte, in a speech before former communist rebels in Malacañang, admitted that he is “really a dictator,” but stressed that nothing will happen to the country he would not impose a “dictatorial” style of governance.
“If you say, dictator, well, I am really a dictator. Because if I don’t [act like a] dictator, nothing will happen to our nation. That’s true,” Duterte said in Cebuano.
In April 2017, lawyer Jude Sabio, counsel of hitman Edgar Matobato, asked ICC to institute legal proceedings against the president and 11 other government officials.
However, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Friday said that President Rodrigo Duterte remains unfazed despite the decision of the ICC.