BRUSSELS, 18 September — Activist youth group Anakbayan hit back against Duterte spokesperson Harry Roque’s cavalier dismissal of the International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) proceedings as “a sham proceeding for propaganda purposes.”
The IPT is a global court convened by lawyers and human rights groups around the world, whose verdict and evidence will be submitted to the International Criminal Court, the European Parliament, and the UN Human Rights Council. The Tribunal will try the Duterte regime of violating the economic, social, civil, and political rights of the Filipino people, which are demandable rights via the Philippines’ ratification of numerous UN conventions on human rights.
“Once again the spoiled brat tyrant Duterte throws a tantrum and quickly dismisses all attempts to hold his administration liable for its human rights abuses against the Filipino people,” said Anakbayan Secretary General Einstein Recedes. “Worse, the coward that he is refuses to even answer these charges in person and hides behind the skirts of his spokesperson Harry Roque.”
Recedes is part of the Philippine delegation to Brussels, Belgium to file cases against President Rodrigo Duterte before the IPT. The IPT has convened twice before and found Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo guilty of rampant rights abuses.
Anakbayan noted that this is not the first time Duterte attempted to avoid indictment of rampant human rights abuses in the country, revolving around the bloody war on drugs and crackdown against progressive individuals and organizations.
“If we recall, the dictatorial man-child Duterte has already declared its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), and has been refusing attempts from UN Rapporteurs to investigate the human rights situation in the country,” he added.
“Duterte shows once again that he is a coward afraid to face the truth and the people´s demands for justice. Duterte fears facing the Tribunal´s distinguished jurors, experts in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law. Instead of defending his human rights record, he chooses to hide,” Recedes furthermore noted.
“Behind all his macho rhetoric and threats, Duterte cowers—a pathetic, paranoid paper tiger unable to face the consequences of his actions. Puro salita, walang gawa, walang paninidigan,” said the youth leader.
For Anakbayan, the testimonies and evidence presented by the witnesses in the Tribunal are very real, as they are the ones who have experienced the Duterte regime’s violence first-hand.
“Where do correct ideas come from?” asked Recedes. “Unlike Duterte’s reports that are sanitized by his lackeys in government, the testimonies of the witnesses are nothing but unadulterated truth, straight from the victims of Duterte’s bloodlust and paranoia.”
“We will not tire of holding Duterte accountable for his regime’s crimes against the Filipino people, in whatever court or tribunal. Once again we call on Duterte to show bravery for once in his life instead of simple posturing—come out, stand up, and face the people of the world!” ended Recedes.
[The Philippines is a State-Party to the following international HR conventions and treaties: International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR); International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICPR); and UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT)]