President Rodrigo Duterte shrugs off the threat of Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano to raise complaints against him to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“Yeah, he can go ahead. He is free to do it. This is a democracy,” Duterte said at a press conference on Tuesday upon his arrival from his official visits in Cambodia, Hong Kong and Beijing, China.
But the President reminded that he was investigated by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) when then Senator Leila De Lima was the chairperson and by the Department of Justice (DOJ) also by De Lima at the helm.
These investigations on alleged extrajudicial killings supposedly perpetrated by the Davao Death Squad (DDS) failed to point to Duterte, who was then the mayor of Davao City.
Self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato and retired cop Arturo Lascanas linked Duterte to DDS. A senate inquiry into Matobato’s accusation also failed to establish links between Duterte and the DDS.
“I was investigated again when she (De Lima) was the Justice Secretary. Then I was investigated again by the Senate and I was investigated again by the House. Ano pa bang gusto nila?” Duterte said.
The President retorted that some guys are being taken for a ride a thousand times over.
“Totoo ‘yang may namatay anak ng… Ano ba namang giyera sa droga na walang namatay? Pero not in the character and kind that I was dished out ‘yung mag-utos ng ganun pati bata, kalokohan ‘yon. Kilala man ninyo ako,” he said.
On Monday, the House justice committee voted to reject the impeachment complaint lodged against Duterte for insufficiency in substance.
While the justice panel found the impeachment complaint filed by Alejano sufficient in form, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon and Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro moved to declare the complaint “insufficient in substance” which was approved with a total of 42 votes.
Alejano sought the ouster of Duterte for his state policy on illegal drugs alleging that this has resulted to a spate of extrajudicial killings, his alleged links in the vigilante killings by the Davao Death Squad, and his alleged P2.2 billion hidden wealth.
Alejano also filed a supplemental complaint regarding Duterte’s failure to assert the country’s sovereign and maritime rights over disputed territories with China including Benham Rise, Panatag Shoal and the rest of the West Philippine Sea.
Alejano admitted that he has not witnessed the killings, but insisted that he has personal knowledge based on authentic records from open sources, policy statements, and public pronouncements of the President. Ayan C. Mellejor