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Highly paid lawyer gathering dirt vs Duterte

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WELL-KNOWN in leftist circles, lawyer Kristina Conti is unarguably among the highest-paid attorneys in the country, making at least P8 million yearly.

For doing what? Gathering evidence, I suspect even concocted testimonies and mere media reports, against former president Rodrigo Duterte and his two police chiefs, Ronald de la Rosa and Oscar Albayalde, for alleged murders committed in the former president’s war against drugs, from July 2016 to March 2019.

After seven years, still an investigation on the ‘situation;’ no mention of Duterte.

This is officially her work in the case that was filed with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2017 by then-opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV. After seven years, it has proven to be essentially Trillanes’ clever propaganda plot, obviously with tons of US help, to demonize Duterte.

Trillanes and Conti in recent weeks have suddenly appeared in media, claiming that Duterte and the police officials will be arrested soon by the ICC. That is totally fake news.

It is rather Conti’s wishful thinking: she does not really work for the ICC as an institution but for the purported victims of Duterte’s war on drugs. The ICC is years away from even undertaking the actual trial of the case. The ICC investigators and prosecution have not even identified who was responsible for the murders if indeed there were unjustified ones. ICC cases and especially convictions — without exception — are against individuals, not states.

Propaganda

The ICC case is really a massive propaganda campaign by the US to falsely portray Duterte as a mass murderer because of his mortal sin: veering the Philippines away from American vassalage and being more friendly to China.

The ICC’s “Pre-trial Chamber” did rule in January 2023 that there is a “reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder appears to have been committed from 2016 to 2019.” However, the ICC prosecutor’s office hasn’t even identified yet who was responsible for these crimes against humanity. How on earth could they even link police killings on the ground level to the highest post of the land? ICC judgments (so far) are never against states but against individuals.

The ICC case is totally based on biased, inaccurate media reports by the anti-Duterte Philippine Daily Inquirer and the internet-only news site Rappler. I have documented this in my columns and even shown statistics proving this. (See “ICC case totally based on biased, inaccurate report,” The Manila Times, Feb. 23, 2023, and “ICC report vs Duterte based solely on Rappler, biased media reports,” Feb. 20, 2023.)

Ironically, the Left is the US partner in this ICC project because Duterte had also undertaken an all-out against the Communist Party and its New People’s Army, which has all but decimated the two outfits. It is no wonder that it is mainly the Left that has been providing the staff to collect and concoct evidence against Duterte and his officials.

‘Assistant to counsel before the ICC’ Conti (extreme left in black) at an event of the National Union of People’s Lawyers. In barong at right is NUPL chairman Edru Olalia, personal lawyer of the late CPP chairman Jose Ma. Sison and counsel for the National Democratic Front.

NUPL

Conti has been the general secretary for the National Capital Region of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), whose chairman is Edru Olalia, a long-time friend and personal lawyer of the late communist leader Jose Ma. Sison.

This ICC case is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. It got traction only because of the US’ powerful media apparatus and pressure on the ICC to accept the obviously politically motivated complaint filed by Trillanes. This coincided with widespread criticisms against the ICC that it has been made a tool of the racist US and European powers since most of those convicted or standing trial are leaders from African countries. The ICC or whoever is controlling it wants to disprove that allegation by convicting an Asian leader, Duterte.

Conti’s press blitz is, first of all, intended to make the public believe that the case is proceeding at a quick pace. The reality is that it is losing the ICC’s interest since it has become obvious that the case against Duterte is so baseless compared to the charges against Russian leader Vladimir Putin for war crimes against Ukraine and against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the horrible genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

An indication that the ICC is starting to lose all interest in the case is that out of the five judges in the chamber that decided in July to reject the Philippine appeal to dismiss the case, two had dissented and argued, I think conclusively, that the ICC, under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, has no jurisdiction over the allegations.

Conti’s recent press blitz was also intended — other than to continue to receive the huge income she gets from the ICC because of the case — to convince Duterte to beg President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. for help to shield him from the ICC in exchange for the bending of his knees to the ruler.

That will not happen. Whoever thought of that plot is an idiot: it has only further raised Duterte’s wrath against Marcos. Conti even pontificated that “Marcos’ snubbing of the ICC investigation against Duterte would be unwise on domestic and international political fronts.” Who is she — who, from her activities and affiliations, is linked with the Left — to say that?

Lawyer Conti has been misrepresenting herself as an important official of the ICC — taking advantage of her misleading title “assistant to counsel” — to claim that the case is against Duterte and his police chiefs is progressing and that they will be ordered arrested soon.

This is fake news. In the first place, she is a mere researcher for the ICC team investigating the case. The case is not even designated by the ICC as against Duterte but merely as an investigation of the “Philippine situation.”

Researchers

Conti is just one of the ICC’s 500 researchers called “assistant to counsel.” These assistants are researchers for the 1,000 “counsels before the ICC,” the lawyers that the institution routinely recruits on a contractual basis to help its investigators gather evidence on the cases filed before it, the most famous being that of actor George Clooney’s wife Amal.

But how can it be an objective court if there are no counsels and their researchers gathering evidence to disprove the claims that there were extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s war against drugs?

There are four other Filipinos in the ICC’s list of “counsels,” which is a higher rank than “assistant to counsel.” These are Duterte’s former spokesman Harry Roque, the executive director of the Center for International Law, Gilbert Andres, and Joel Butuyan, chairman of the NGO Center for International Law. I have no information on what case in the ICC they are helping investigate.

These lawyers certainly have not been going around town, as Conti has been doing, claiming to be “ICC counsels” and commenting on a case before the ICC.

As “assistant to counsel,” Conti gets a monthly remuneration of £6,500, or P6 million per year. According to ICC documents, she would also get “reimbursement for travel to and from The Hague and related subsistence daily allowance.” A source estimated that Conti’s income from her job as assistant to counsel is at least P8 million yearly.

Not bad, especially for someone doing work before her ICC employment as a pro-bono human rights lawyer and getting a negligible amount in allowances from some entity she hasn’t disclosed.

Conti and the Yellows have repeated in Hitlerian fashion that the ICC case is investigating the former president and de la Rosa for these crimes. This is fake news. It is still an investigation of the “Philippine situation,” and there is no mention of Duterte in all of the ICC’s documents on the case, which are labeled only as an investigation of the “Situation in the Republic of the Philippines.”

It is shameless for leftist activists and the Yellows to put down Duterte’s war on drugs, which was successful during his administration to the extent that the scourge was minimized when he ended his term, resulting in a huge drop in crime in the country.


Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. River Dweller

    Why is our left so stupid? Other countries have more robust left-wingers but all we got are just insufferable wannabe New York libs.

  2. Also, a disbarment case against this pinko-red attorney should be filed at the IBP for ruining the image and reputation of the entire Philippine judicial system because the entire premise of their laughable ICC case is that the PH justice system is unwilling or unable to try cases related to these so-called “EJKs”, when this entire time all the PH courts are open to hear all the “30K” victims’ ( kuno) families’ complaints. These pinklawan talunans couldn’t even produce 1% of this number as plaintiffs, so where are all these “numerous” EJK victims? The Philippines is not a warzone or a lawless country, the entire government system is functioning, so this ICC case is already violating the principle of complementarity in international law! These losers don’t want to file cases here because their only objective is to demonize Duterte, the cases don’t have to be true, they just need to make it appear so to please their gullible foreign masters. And, of course, the great white Western chauvinists are just eager to hear these things because they hate any foreign leader who wouldn’t bow down to them.

  3. I am getting tired of quoting these facts about the ICC every time this issue comes up:

    “This is why the three greatest world States – China, the United States and Russia – refused to ratify it. They saw in it – quite rightly – a violation of the principle of sovereignty, formulated in the 18th century by the legal expert Emer de Vattel, and voted into action by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.”

    “…the Court has acquired autonomy. It no longer pretends to help states render justice but has proclaimed itself the defender of humanity against states.

    It is important to understand what is happening – over the last few years, the ICC has mainly been financed by the European Union, and has drawn up its own code. Until 2016, it tried only African defendants under its own laws and found them all guilty [4]. After a vote by its Parliament, Burundi then decided to withdraw from the Rome Statute, on the motive that the ICC had become “an instrument of pressure on the governments of poor countries, or a means of destabilizing them according to the desires of the great powers.” Three other states then followed – Gambia, the Philippines and South Africa.”

    “the ICC offered none of the guarantees expected from an impartial legal system. Thus, during NATO’s attack on Libya in violation of the Security Council’s mandate, the “proof” tabled by the General Prosecutor, Argentinian Luis Moreno Ocampo, against Mouamar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdallah al-Senoussi, was limited entirely to press cuttings from the invading states. Worse – when NATO bombed Tripoli, the prosecutor declared that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been arrested by the Western powers and that his bureau was organising his deferment to the Hague. By doing so, he was guilty of a bare-faced lie, and demoralised the Libyans to the point where they no longer resisted the aggression of NATO. In reality, Saif al-Islam was safe and sound in the cellars of the Hotel Rixos, where I was myself.

    The same Luis Moreno Ocampo raped a female journalist in his court office, but escaped justice only by his immunity as an international prosecutor [5]. Corrupt, he demanded secret payments for prosecuting individuals who were marked for elimination [6]. The prosecutor’s secret bank accounts were later revealed by journalistic investigations in Panama and the Virgin Islands [7]. Luis Moreno Ocampo has never had to answer to these charges.”

    “There exists no control of the ICC, even when its general prosecutor is a corrupt criminal. The Court is reserved exclusively for the service of those who pay for it – the European Union.”

  4. Everyone except the lil brown Amboys already know that the US is the biggest self-righteous hypocrite in history. Apropos this issue, I’ll reiterate these:

    “This is why the three greatest world States – China, the United States and Russia – refused to ratify it. They saw in it – quite rightly – a violation of the principle of sovereignty, formulated in the 18th century by the legal expert Emer de Vattel, and voted into action by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.”

    “…the Court has acquired autonomy. It no longer pretends to help states render justice but has proclaimed itself the defender of humanity against states.

    It is important to understand what is happening – over the last few years, the ICC has mainly been financed by the European Union, and has drawn up its own code. Until 2016, it tried only African defendants under its own laws and found them all guilty [4]. After a vote by its Parliament, Burundi then decided to withdraw from the Rome Statute, on the motive that the ICC had become “an instrument of pressure on the governments of poor countries, or a means of destabilizing them according to the desires of the great powers.” Three other states then followed – Gambia, the Philippines and South Africa.”

    “the ICC offered none of the guarantees expected from an impartial legal system. Thus, during NATO’s attack on Libya in violation of the Security Council’s mandate, the “proof” tabled by the General Prosecutor, Argentinian Luis Moreno Ocampo, against Mouamar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdallah al-Senoussi, was limited entirely to press cuttings from the invading states. Worse – when NATO bombed Tripoli, the prosecutor declared that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi had been arrested by the Western powers and that his bureau was organising his deferment to the Hague. By doing so, he was guilty of a bare-faced lie, and demoralised the Libyans to the point where they no longer resisted the aggression of NATO. In reality, Saif al-Islam was safe and sound in the cellars of the Hotel Rixos, where I was myself.

    The same Luis Moreno Ocampo raped a female journalist in his court office, but escaped justice only by his immunity as an international prosecutor [5]. Corrupt, he demanded secret payments for prosecuting individuals who were marked for elimination [6]. The prosecutor’s secret bank accounts were later revealed by journalistic investigations in Panama and the Virgin Islands [7]. Luis Moreno Ocampo has never had to answer to these charges.”

    “There exists no control of the ICC, even when its general prosecutor is a corrupt criminal. The Court is reserved exclusively for the service of those who pay for it – the European Union.”

    Kung hindi ba naman mga colonial-minded, inferiority complex-afflicted, at may doormat mentality mga elites ng bansa na ito eh antagal na sana tayo naging truly independent, justifiably proud and self-respecting developed nation.

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