Leila de Lima reacts to ICC drug war probe: “That’s why it is called the rule of law”

President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. <i>Photos: Screenshot from RTVM’s video/ABS-CBN News</i>
President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima. Photos: Screenshot from RTVM’s video/ABS-CBN News

Leila de Lima has penned a response to yesterday’s announcement from International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that the ICC was going to open preliminary examinations into the Philippine drug war.

As the 1,076th “dispatch from Crame”, De Lima issued a handwritten statement which has been posted on her Twitter account. Her note reads:

“That is why it is called the rule of law. You can’t just play with the law of humanity and use your own set of rules. Kahit pa ang pangalan mo ay Duterte. So the International Criminal Court is now at your door, behind it are thousands of victims of your bloodbath.

“Sabi ko naman noon pa, hindi habangbuhay ang kapangyarihan. May galaw ang hustisya na hindi kontrolado ng pulitika ninyo at ng kapangyarihan. Hindi yan karma, that’s the march of justice about to trounce you. [Power does not last a lifetime. Justice moves in ways that cannot be controlled by your politics and power. That’s not karma.] 

“Let’s return to Mr. Duterte and give him a taste of his own medicine: ‘Kung wala kang kasalanan, hindi ka matatakot.’ [If you’re not guilty, you shouldn’t be afraid.]”

De Lima, who was imprisoned in 2017 for her alleged involvement in the drug trades in the New Bilibid Prison, is a vocal critic of the Duterte administration. She served as chair of the Commission on Human Rights from 2008 to 2010, and her investigations on the Davao Death Squad earned her the enmity of then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who was purportedly behind the death squad.


Yesterday, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda published a statement announcing that the ICC was opening preliminary examinations into the drug war in the Philippines: “Specifically, it has been alleged that since 1 July 2016, thousands of persons have been killed for reasons related to their alleged involvement in illegal drug use or dealing. While some of such killings have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs, it is alleged that many of the reported incidents involved extra-judicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations.”


Other stories you may want to read:

US lawmaker seeks to remove aid for PH police, military over human rights record

Travelers with fake Covid-19 tests should be arrested, Duterte says

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