Bishops hope ICC case vs Duterte will ferret out truth

Bishops hope ICC case vs Duterte will ferret out truth

Catholics join a procession dubbed as the “Penitential Walk for Life” to stress the value of life amid rampant killings in the country on Good Friday, April 14, 2017. MARIA TAN

A Catholic bishop hopes that the case filed against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague will ferret out the truth behind the drug-related killings in the country.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said something must be done to stop the alarming surge of summary killings of suspected drug pushers and users.

“This is a very good step for the ICC to take serious action against the continuous and seemingly condoned violation of human rights in the Philippines,” Bastes said.

“It is our hope that this move will inject fear into the hearts and minds of the accused officials so that they will eventually and sincerely put a stop to these merciless killings,” he said.

The bishop was reacting to Atty. Jude Sabio’s move to take to the ICC Duterte’s alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings during his years as Davao City mayor until now that he is the country’s chief executive.

Sabio, counsel of self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato, accused Duterte with crimes against humanity over the government’s controversial war on drugs.

Aside from Duterte, also facing charges are 11 top officials including Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran, and Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Sabio also included Senators Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano, former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, Manila police chief P/Supt. Edilberto Leonardo, Senior Police Office 4 Sonny Buenaventura, and P/Supt. Royina Garma.

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said the allegations against Duterte must be resolved by lawful means.

“People have the right to express what they believe in accordance with the law and procedures,” he said. CBCPNews