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May basehan ba talaga? Gatchalian questions ICC’s jurisdiction to probe Duterte

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Senator Win Gatchalian on Thursday raised the need to review the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over President Rodrigo Duterte who is facing charges before the ICC for his bloody war on drugs.

The President on Wednesday announced the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute, creating the ICC, because it is being used as a “political tool” against him and his administration.

Asked to comment on the President’s move, Gatchalian said, “Well, para sa akin ‘yung declaration of withdrawal from ICC importante rin na tingnan din natin yung jurisdiction nitong ICC because tayo ay independent (country).”

“We have our own laws and mechanisms to address issues like this. For example, kung may nagkasala sa atin whether you are a president, vice president, senator meron tayong mechanisms para imbestigahan at parusahan o tanggalin sa pwesto itong mga elected officials,” he said.

“So, itong ICC might be overreaching our mechanisms or overreaching our jurisdiction. We are a sovereign country, may sarili tayong batas, may sarili tayong Constitution. Paganahin natin ‘yan. Gumagana ‘yan,” said Gatchalian in an interview.

He added, “In my opinion p’wede nating imbitahan dito sa Senado ang presidente, pwede nating imbestigahan ang presidente, pwede nating imbestigahan ang bise president, pwede nating imbestigahan ang kapwa senador dahil ‘yan ang mga mekanismo para masigurado natin na maayos ang pamamalakad at pamamahala ng ating bansa.”

Asked whether Mr. Duterte made the right decision to pull out from ICC, Gatchalian said, “I think that should be reviewed carefully. Dahil kung may encroachment to our sovereignty then suportado ako (sa desisyon niya).”

Sen. Sonny Trillanes and Rep. Gary Alejano filed charges against Mr. Duterte before the ICC for alleged commission of crime against humanity when he supposedly allowed the extrajudicial killing of suspected drug personalities, now numbering to over 20,000.