Duterte to be tried before Brussels-based ‘global court’, say militant groups

0 3,758

A Brussels-based “global court” is set to hear the cases filed by the left-leaning groups against President Rodrigo Duterte for his administration’s alleged human rights violations to the Filipino people.

The International People’s Tribunal (IPT2018) will hear the testimonies of some Filipinos, such as Sultan Hamidullah Atar of Marawi City and Suara Bangasamoro Chairperson Jerome Succor Aba, from September 18-19 against Duterte, said former Bayan party-list Rep. Teddy Casino in a press conference Monday, September 17.

Bayan or the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and Karapatan are leading the various local organizations in raising 21 cases or incidents in the IPT2018, he said.

According to Casino, the complaints filed against Duterte were based on the following grounds: violations on economic, social and cultural rights, violations on civil and political rights, and violations on the right to self-determination.

According to the groups, Atar would testify about the human rights violations that the Duterte administration allegedly committed to the Meranaws during the Marawi siege last year and the declaration of martial law in whole of Mindanao.

On the other hand, Aba would bring up the alleged massacre of seven Tausug youths on September 14 in Patikul, Sulu allegedly perpetrated by the government forces.

He would also raise the alleged religious discrimination, arbitrary detention and torture committed against him by agents of US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on April 17-19, 2018.

While the verdict of the IPT2018 would not be legally binding, Jigs Clamor, Karapatan deputy secretary general, said the verdict from the “global court” would be submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the European Parliament, and the United Nations Human Rights Council as a case against the US-Duterte regime.

“Although Duterte already withdrew from the Rome Statute creating the ICC, it will take a year upon the receipt of the notice of withdrawal according to Article 127 of the ICC. This rule was made specifically for dictators like Duterte to withdraw while complaints are filed against them,” Aba said.

The IPT2018 is a global court convened by the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, IBON International, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines. The jurors come from eight countries, such as Egypt, US, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Iran, Italy, France, and Japan.