SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th and his Yellow financiers have succeeded in their top black-propaganda project: the case they filed at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Duterte for his government’s alleged extra-judicial killings in the course of the war against illegal drugs.
It’s total hogwash that they are seeking justice for the victims.
They know that at best the case will still be there years after Duterte is out of power, as in the cases for instance of the Uganda and Colombia complaints which were filed in 2004, but which the ICC is still investigating.
Even if there were EJKs, how can they claim that Duterte is responsible, that there was a state policy for such, and that these were not merely cases, as happens anywhere in the world, even in the most “civilized” countries, of that genre of crimes called police brutality?
Trillanes’ ICC thing is nothing but a propaganda project intended to portray Duterte to the world as a mass murderer, in the hope that the governments of the US and other Western countries will do what they can to help overthrow him.
By filing the case at the ICC, they have portrayed our country as in the league of sub-Saharan countries which that body has investigated for mass killings and rapes undertaken in the course of their civil wars mostly waged by tribes hardly out of the Stone Age.
Depths of depravity
Such is the depth of the depravity, and the utter lack of patriotism of Trillanes and his Yellow financiers.
Duterte himself has disclosed that Trillanes’ co-conspirators include New York-based billionaire Loida Nicolas-Lewis, who was one of the biggest supporters and financiers of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
Indeed, I don’t think Trillanes has the brains nor the willingness to spend his own money for international lawyers who would advise him and his mediocre lawyer Jude Sabio how to go about filing a case at the ICC. I suspect Lewis provided the logistics, which is the reason why Trillanes has been spending inexplicable, inordinately long periods in the US.
The Washington Post article of February 8 on the ICC prosecutor’s announcement to examine the complaint is the exact output Trillanes wants for their ICC project. The article also, as it has since last year, reveals the newspaper’s shameless bias against Duterte as well as its total disregard for even the minimum standards of journalism.*
The Post article’s headline in its print edition was: “International Criminal Court to probe Philippine deaths.” That’s fake news.
“Probe” is almost an exact synonym of “investigation,” but the ICC isn’t undertaking an investigation but only a “preliminary examination,” as its prosecutor Fatou Bensouda went at length to explain;
“I emphasize that a preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.”
The prosecutor is required by ICC regulations to undertake such an examination after a formal complaint complying with all its technicalities is filed with it, and after it reviews the documents, decides to do so.
Only after a period of time, which has taken decades in many cases, does the ICC proceed with a formal investigation, which would be still years away from a formal court trial. There are of course several cases that, after the prosecutor’s examination, had been dismissed, as in a case filed against South Korea.
The Post article had a subhead: “Critics say such an investigation is overdue after thousands of killings since 2016 have been linked to President Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’.” But the “critics” had been almost solely Trillanes and his Yellow backers. Did the Post report that there has been overwhelming support for Duterte’s war on drugs? Certainly not.
Who reported that there were such thousands of killings? Rappler articles and the Philippine Daily Inquirer columnists?**
The Post article’s first paragraph read: “The ICC announced Thursday it is opening a probe into deaths linked to President Rodrigo’s ‘war on drugs,’ a move that could eventually lead to charges of crimes against humanity.”
How on earth could the writer put the casualties in Duterte’s war against drugs in the same genre as thousands killed in the ethnic cleansing in Eastern Europe and in the wars between tribal-base groups in Africa, which are incontrovertibly crimes against humanity?
The Post even had a blurb: “A major human rights crisis has been unfolding in the Philippines.” Who said that? UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard who has demonstrated such total ignorance of the situation in our country as well as her hatred of Duterte.
Nobody but nobody – and that would even include Trillanes – believes that there is a human rights crisis here, on the same level as those in sub-Saharan African countries or even, more recently, in Burma.
The Post article is so one-sided that it might was well have been a press release of Trillanes and the Liberal Party. There was hardly single statement in the article that disputed the claims of “thousands of EJKs” under Duterte.
It even claims: “In fact there has yet to be a single successful prosecution of officers accused of drug war abuses, despite compelling evidence of systematic killings, staged crime scenes and extortion.”
That’s another fake news. Three Caloocan policemen have been charged with murder for the killing of two teenagers last year, whom the police claimed were robbers and drug addicts. Because the poor parents of the teenagers can’t afford lawyers, the case is being prosecuted by the Public Attorney’s Office.
And finally, what is so revealing of the Post’s—and other Western newspapers’—shameless bias: Only the case against the Philippines was reported as being examined by the ICC, when the latter’s press release announced that it was a move involving not just our country but also Venezuela, which has been accused of attacking and torturing anti-government demonstrators last year.
Of course, the hypocritical Post practically described the ICC as a distinguished court globally recognized. It didn’t at all mention that neither the US, nor Russia, nor China recognizes it, with all three countries with totally different systems seeing it as an intrusion on a nation’s sovereignty.
Why should the US recognize the ICC?
If it did, immediately to be tried and probably convicted in a few years’ time would be its President Bush who invaded two sovereign nations, Afghanistan and Iraq, in the process killing hundreds of thousands of people, in its search for Osama bin Laden, who turned out to be hiding near a military camp in Pakistan, its ally.
*Read my column, “The NYT’s hatchet job on Duterte: We should all be outraged”