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Pimentel’s fearless forecast: ICC case vs Duterte won’t prosper

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Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III ​is confident that the case ​filed ​against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) ​would ​not likely prosper.

“Ang prediction ko dito, hindi tayo aabot sa arrest warrant. Walang kwenta ‘yung kaso,” Pimentel said to reporters when sought on Duterte’s decision to withdraw the government’s ratification of the Rome Statute.

Regardless of the withdrawal of the country’s membership from the ICC, Pimentel said this development will not affect the litigation of the case against Duterte, the charges of crimes against humanity filed by lawyer Jude Sabio and backed by a supplemental complaint of Magdalo party mates Rep. Gary Alejano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Sa pagkaintindi ko ganun eh. Kahit member or non member, sa pagkakaalam ko, they can continue,” he said.

“Basta let us say a person who has an arrest warrant from the ICC is found in a state signatory or member of the ICC, duty-bound sila to arrest that person. Ganun lang yun. So sa Pilipinas kunwari out na tayo, meron silang gustong ipaaresto sa atin, hindi tayo mag pa-participate kasi out na tayo. Yun lang yun,” Pimentel explained.

“In effect ang sinasabi ng Pilipinas we don’t want to have anything to do with you kasi may abuse of discretion kayo eh,” he said.

But whether the Philippines remain a signatory-member of the ICC, the Senate chief does not see the likelihood of Duterte getting arrested or taking the reins over the President.

“Kahit member din naman tayo, i-aresto natin sarili nating President? Hindi naman natin gagawin yun,” he said.

“Kahit naman ICC, (they) cannot arrest him. Nasa Pilipinas, tayo mag-e- enforce. They cannot send police forces dito to arrest him,” Pimentel emphasized.