Print Edition - 2017-04-27 | Oped
Let’s condemn Duterte
- He is responsible for the deaths of more than 9,400 people
Apr 27, 2017-
A Filipino lawyer formally asked the International Criminal Court on Monday to charge President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 officials with mass murder and crimes against humanity over the extrajudicial killings of thousands of people in the Philippines.
The lawyer, Jude Josue Sabio, filed the complaint in his own name, but he also represents two men who have publicly said they were paid members of the death squad that Mr. Duterte set up in Davao City when he was the mayor to hunt down drug dealers. After he was elected president last year, Mr. Duterte took the killing campaign nationwide. In all, Mr. Sabio said in the 77-page filing, more than 9,400 people have been killed.
Mr. Sabio is not the first to accuse Mr. Duterte of mass killings—so have Human Rights Watch, in 2009; Amnesty International, this January; and some brave Filipino politicians. There are reasons why the I.C.C. might be reluctant to go after Mr. Duterte. He is enormously popular with many Filipinos, for whom narcotics are a major scourge. But there is already more than enough evidence for a preliminary investigation, which would send an unmistakable signal to Mr. Duterte that he may have to answer for his crimes. And if the findings against Mr. Duterte are not enough, there are his savage words. “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them,” he told reporters in one of his most outrageous statements (and misstating the figure for the Holocaust, which is six million). This is a man who must be stopped.
Published: 27-04-2017 08:02