Palace calls international tribunal proceedings a 'sham'

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2018 03:47 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 29th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on September 11, 2018. Toto Lozano, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said it is not affected by the move of a Marawi sultan to testify against the Duterte administration before the International People’s Tribunal for gross violations of civil and political rights.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the proceedings at the tribunal are not official.

“That’s a propaganda proceeding from the left… It’s a sham proceeding,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

The IPT2018 is a global court being convened by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, IBON International, and the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines.

Human rights group Karapatan said the tribunal’s team of jurors are “all experts and eminent individuals from different disciplines with proven competence, integrity, probity and objectivity, and experienced on issues on human rights, rights of peoples, and international humanitarian law.”

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said Duterte should be found guilty of gross and blatant violations of civil and political rights.

Palabay cited the “overwhelming evidence that points to the culpability of Duterte,” as shown in the twelve emblematic cases of civil and political rights violations presented and submitted in the tribunal. 

Sultan Hamidullah Atar of Marawi City was also scheduled to testify against the Duterte administration before the tribunal in Brussels, Belgium.

Karapatan said the tribunal’s findings would be forwarded to the International Criminal Court, the European Parliament, and the United Nations Human Rights Council.