De Lima: Duterte could face crimes against humanity raps

  • Senator said the president may face charges before the ICC for spate of drug-related killings
  • She pointed out the two elements of crimes against humanity are already present
  • However, De Lima said she’s only stating a fact, is not threatening Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – With a week to go before she grills the top PNP officials on the spate of drug-related killings, Sen. Leila de Lima warned President Rodrigo Duterte that he could face charges for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) where his immunity from suit cannot be invoked.

“There are some experts who are saying that… if this spate of killings go unabated and unchecked, it could reach that point that the ICC could send a prosecutor to our country and investigate all these for possible prosecution under the Rome Statute,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.  “That is not a joke. The last thing we need right now is for our dear President to be subjected to an investigation by an international tribunal like the International Criminal Court.”

De Lima, however, said she is not threatening the president but only stating a possible scenario.

“I am not threatening the President. I am just stating a fact,” she said.

According to the senator, the elements needed to impugn Duterte for crimes against humanity are already present: a widespread and systematic attack on the civilian population.

“The element of the crime against humanity that is widespread is already present. We have more than a hundred, almost reaching a thousand deaths. I think it is not debatable that it is now widespread,” she said. “The systemic element of the crime is said to be the one that is difficult to prove because of the State and the leaders’ deniability. But then, the pronouncements of the President and PNP General Ronald dela Rosa, from the campaign period until now, may be considered as evidence.”