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Busted: ICC prosecutor ibinasura ang complaint ni Trillanes? Fake news alert!

Some Duterte fan pages shared articles about how the complaint filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court has been dismissed. The President’s supporters are hailing this piece of good news!
The common caption used in sharing the articles went like this:

“GOOD NEWS mga ka DDS!


Panoorin nyo po ang video Kabayan.Anong masasabi nyo rito? E Share po natin para malaman ng iba. #ShareNatin”

The story was published by blogs such as,,,, and, among others.

There is no lengthy text included in the story published on the blogs above, but you’ll find a 43-minute video in it.

This is what the YouTube video was all about:

  • Senator Trillanes on the phone interview about how he expected presidential spokesman to belittle the ICC complaint filed against President Duterte
  • Trillanes said that Atty. Jude Sabio can likely afford to file a case against Duterte before the ICC at The Hague as he can pay for his round-trip tickets and access the files he needed to support his complaint against the Philippine president. It should be noted that Sabio filed the criminal case against Duterte on April 24, 2017.
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  • MindaVote and MindaNation author Carlos Munda talked about the ICC complaint against Duterte, the importance of letting the President’s supporters know more about the implications of the complaint for Duterte and his presidency, what the ICC is, and what the controversies are involving the ICC. Munda also discussed how the ICC will likely not pursue a case against Duterte because the cases in the complaint were already investigated in PH, how Duterte’s supporters should not worry about the complaint leading to the President’s ouster because the ICC has no jurisdiction over it and other reasons, and how the Filipinos will stage a revolution if Robredo becomes president if something would happen to Duterte. He also urged the people to start campaigning against potential Liberal Party candidates in the 2019 elections and how he means it when he curses against people. He wrapped up his video reaction with a summary of why he believed the ICC will not act on the complaint against Duterte – the cases against Duterte were already probed without charges filed against the President. He said that Duterte’s supporters must focus on destroying LP politically to stop them from destroying the current administration.

There was nothing in the video that said what the headline was saying – that the ICC indeed dismissed the complaint against President Duterte. It was merely about Trillanes’ reaction to Sabio filing the complaint against Duterte and Munda reacting to it and giving his opinion on how the ICC will likely not act on the complaint against the Philippine president.

Aside from the fact that the first few minutes of the video was about Sabio’s ICC complaint against Duterte and not Trillanes,’ as what was mentioned in the headline, the image featured on the YouTube video showed Trillanes and Argentinian lawyer Luis Moreno Ocampo, probably to try and mislead whoever was about to watch the video.

Ocampo was the first ICC prosecutor when he was first elected to head the ICC in April 2003 and was sworn in for a nine-year, non-renewable term in June 2003. His term in office ended in June 2012, when he was replaced by Fatou Bensouda of Gambia, the current ICC prosecutor.

This meant that featuring Ocampo’s image in the featured image of the story was irrelevant to the headline’s claim because he can no longer decide whether to dismiss the complaint against Duterte or not.

Despite the lack of official report on ICC’s action on the complaint filed against President Duterte and the other inconsistencies pointed out, the articles are still being shared on Facebook by some individual users and Facebook pages such as “Tatay Digong Global Supporters,” “OFW Duterte Supporters,” “Astig Duterte Supporters,” “Duterte Para sa Pagbabago,” “Duterte Administration – 2016 to Present,” “Dutertards,” “Sara Duterte Supporters,” “Duterte Pangako ng Pagbabago,” “Inday Sara Duterte Supporters,” “Pres. Duterte Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago,” and more.

Some of Duterte’s supporters readily believed the false headline.

But at least someone noticed that the headline was misleading and was not afraid to voice it out in the comments section of Dutertards’ Facebook post.

This is not the first story that tried to paint the ICC communication against Duterte as something that did not flourish. In May, Sabio said that the communication, the correct term instead of “complaint,” he filed is “not dead” despite UN Ambassador Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s statement that UN Special Rapporteur’s visit to the Philippines in May rendered the potential case “dead as a door nail.”

“Nothing in the Rome Statute serves as legal basis to assert that the special rapporteur’s visit will render my ICC communication as dead. Any suggestion that it is rendered dead is legally preposterous,” Sabio told the Philippine Star via text message.

“Certainly, the ICC communication is still alive and kicking in the hands of the prosecutor of ICC, who will apply independently legal standards under the Rome Statute, free from political pressures or instructions from external sources,” he added.

There have been several fake news about the ICC communication filed against Duterte, too, some of which we have debunked. These fake stories include ICC Prosecutor Bensouda saying there was no evidence warranting Duterte’s prosecution, Oxford law professor saying Duterte cannot be prosecuted by the ICC because of his high approval ratings, Sabio’s communication being dismissed, and Duterte being issued a warrant of arrest.

Sources: ( )

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