Press Release
February 12, 2018


President Rodrigo Duterte may have incriminated himself on criminal charges filed against him before an international tribunal.

This was the observation made by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the President's recent statement admitting that he is a dictator.

Hontiveros said that Duterte's remark came amid the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to conduct a preliminary examination into crimes against humanity charges against him over deaths in his bloody war on drugs.

"Duterte just made the ICC's job simpler"

"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. 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. 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.

"Pronouncements and actions in the past"

The Senator explained that even before Duterte's latest statement, the Chief Executive already made numerous pronouncements and actions in the past that pointed to his possible guilt in the crimes that he is being accused of. She cited the President's public order to the police to kill all drug dependents, how he likened his drug war to the Holocaust and his decision to reinstate and even promote the police personnel who murdered Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, as some examples.

It was reported that the Senate and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) both concluded that the death of Espinosa is a case of extrajudicial killing.

"A fish is caught by its mouth"

"A fish is caught by its mouth and a foul man by his deeds. President Duterte is the best witness against himself. Through his words and deeds, he has repeatedly exposed himself to the charge of crimes lodged against him. I am confident that the ICC has documented all of these," Hontiveros said.

Meanwhile, Hontiveros asked the Philippine government to recognize the ICC processes and accord them due respect. "The Philippines is a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It is also part of a global community joined by the shared respect for democracy, human rights and dignity. We have an obligation to subject our public policies and even our leaders to scrutiny, in the same way that we may hold accountable the actions of other nation-states," she said.

It was reported that Duterte admitted to imposing a "dictatorial" style of governance. Speaking before a gathering of former communist rebels, Duterte said he prefers to be a "dictator" to be able to sustain the country's progress. "If you say dictator, I am really a dictator. If I don't act (like a) dictator, son of a b****, nothing will happen to this country," the President said in Visayan.

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