Spox Harry Roque Refutes De Lima's Claims that Government Unable to Probe Alleged EJKs

Former congressman and newly-appointed Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque refuted the well-publicized statement of incarcerated senator Leila de Lima who claimed that the government is unable to probe the alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) happening during the admin of Pres. Rody Duterte.


In a statement released to the media, Spox Harry Roque was quoted as saying "The point is, the ICC was never intended to be the court of first recourse. People who have complaints against extralegal killings must file before the Philippine courts," Roque, also a human rights lawyer, told CNN Philippines on Sunday.

Senator Leila De Lima released a strongly worded statement on Saturday urging the International Criminal Court (ICC) to start preliminary investigations on alleged EJKs in the country as Pres. Duterte allegedly adopted a policy of killing Filipinos suspected of drug use and peddling.

Sen. De Lima was quoted as saying "It's a no-brainer. How can the ICC expect the Duterte Administration to take jurisdiction over the prosecution of EJK crimes, when the President has already admitted it is the very policy of his administration to kill Filipinos?" de Lima said.

The senator was referring to the President's speech in Pampanga on December 7 wherein Pres. Duterte said that his policy on the drug war will remain "until the dying days of his presidency or his life."

The Philippines is a party to the Rome Stature of the International Criminal Court. Under the Rome Stature, the state is
given the primary jurisdiction to try cases, and the ICC only steps in when the concerned state fails to prosecute an international crime such as genocide or other crimes against humanity.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque insisted there is no unwillingness on the side of the government to probe the killings, citing cases in the Supreme Court.

Spox Roque explained further that "What better proof do you want that Philippine Courts are able and willing, other than Supreme Court cases being heard by the Court en banc?" Roque said.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing oral arguments on two petitions filed by separate lawyer groups against the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s anti-drug campaign.

Source: CNN Philippines

Spox Harry Roque Refutes De Lima's Claims that Government Unable to Probe Alleged EJKs Spox Harry Roque Refutes De Lima's Claims that Government Unable to Probe Alleged EJKs Reviewed by Phil Newsome on December 11, 2017 Rating: 5
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