Several Duterte and Marcos support pages on Facebook have been sharing an article with the title, “International law expert, binasura ang complaint ni Trillanes sa ICC.”
Pages such as “Diehard Duterte Supporterts,” “Duterte News Online,” “Duterte Republic,” “Philippine News Portal,” “Duterte News Today,” “Marcos Warriors,” “Duterte Daily News,” are among those that have distributed the article on social media, earning hundreds of shares, reactions and comments from the netizens.
If you might have have noticed, this caption is quite common among the pages sharing the article:
“KAWAWANG Trillanes. Binasura ang kanyang complaint sa ICC..Hindi ito binalita sa mga bias na media..No problema.Tayo nalng ang magkalat…Share nyo to mga ka DDS”
The admins of the Duterte and Marcos support pages were claiming that the mainstream media did not cover this piece of news.
But CNN Philippines and Rappler, among others, did cover it, just with a different and more accurate headline.
When you click on the link, you will see a YouTube clip that is over 14 minutes long. It even showed the logo of the government TV network People’s Television Network (PTV) when it was actually CNN Philippines that interviewed Ateneo dean Antonio La Viña, the international law expert the headline was referring to.
Moreover, CNN’s interview with La Viña was cut short up to the 2:14 mark on the video, after which it was replaced with a clip of the interview of Guillermina Barrido Arcilla, who claimed that she was allegedly Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s “paid” witness against President Rodrigo Duterte.
We could not find the rest of the video of CNN’s interview with La Viña, but we did find CNN’s article, “PH is ‘top of mind’ in International Criminal Court – legal expert,” pertaining to the other matters that the legal expert discussed during the interview.
Contrary to what the headline claimed, La Viña did not say that the ICC “complaint,” which he corrected, saying that it is actually a “communication,” is bound for the trash bin.
La Viña said that out of the 12,000 similar communications the ICC has received since it was established in 2002, the international organization has only acted on 6 of them.
“It will be easy to say that, maybe like many… it will be set aside. I’m afraid that will not happen in this case,” La Viña said.
There, he thought, that the communication filed against Duterte and 11 other Philippine political personalities at the ICC will not be set aside or ignored.
And why is that so?
“I would actually say [it takes] years of this, except that… the Philippines is top of mind. Because there are killings going on and the prosecutor might want to stop those killings, then she might actually rush this forward,” he added.
La Viña further said that there was a “medium… if not a big possibility” that the international court will do a follow up on the document filed by Jude Sabio, lawyer of self-confessed DDS hitman Edgar Matobato.
However, it should be noted that La Viña said during his CNN Philippines interview that while he is against the method of handing the drug problem in the country, he is also not in favor of taking the problem up to the ICC.
“I’m against the filing of the case because I would like us to correct ourselves. I am against the way the war against drugs is being conducted, but I would like the correction to be done by ourselves and not imposed from outside,” La Viña said.
In his article published by Rappler, La Viña expressed the same opinion about him not favoring taking the concern to the ICC, but added how the government could respond to this, including taking Vice President Leni Robredo’s advice to change the strategy in implementing the drug war.
“I continue to be against an ICC case because I would rather we address the EJKs ourselves through our procedures. I wished the President and his people listened to advice to be more circumspect in language and to be discerning in targeting people in the war against illegal drugs. A change in strategy, along the line suggested by Vice President Leni Robredo, would actually be mitigating and probably avoid a case. Unfortunately, that advice seems to be falling on deaf ears and prosecution could be inevitable,” he said.
Even a withdrawal from the ICC will not work.
“With this latest development, withdrawal from the Rome Statute is no longer an option as that withdrawal can only take effect after one year. Such withdrawal might in fact precipitate the filing of the case. Once indictments are handed down, withdrawal from the ICC is irrelevant and immaterial,” La Viña wrote.
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