Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, also an ally of the Marcos-Duterte tandem and the current Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, along with 18 other lawmakers defend former President Rodrigo Duterte against the investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) through House Resolution No. 780 on February 16, Thursday.

On January 26, the ICC authorized to resume investigation in the Philippines regarding the extrajudicial killings committed from the first of November 2011 until the last day of ICC’s involvement with the Philippines on the 16th of March 2019, which will cover former President Duterte’s presidential stint as well as his mayoral term.

The ICC, in its report, said that it is not satisfied with legal actions of the national courts of the Philippines undertaking the cases, adding that it does not reflect the quality of the ICC’s standards.

On fake surrenderees

House Resolution No. 780 also cited the alleged peace and order due to the whole-of-nation approach undertaken by former President Duterte’s government to end the insurgency.

In 2019, Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Zarate and Eufemia Cullamat ordered an inquiry regarding the manipulated photo of 306 alleged surrenderees of the New People’s Army (NPA) and called it a “bounty collection racket of state forces.”

Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson and former senatorial candidate Elmer Labog also belied the 30 fake surrenderees from the labor sector at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, citing it is impossible for workers to become NPA when they spend eight hours of their day working.

It was also followed by another wave of fake surrenderees on April 30, 2021 in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan totalling to 244 alleged members of the NPA said to be connected to Bayan Muna and KADAMAY.

The drug-related killings in the Philippines

“Former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is convinced that fighting illegal drugs, along with corruption and other crimes is a prerequisite for achieving genuine growth and prosperity,” the resolution said.

However, instead of fighting illegal drugs, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has tallied more than 12,000 deaths of Filipinos, mostly urban poor, since the launch of Duterte’s anti-drug campaign or Oplan Tokhang that HRW equated to ‘crimes against humanity.’

These numbers came as no surprise as former President Duterte ordered the Filipino public to go kill any ‘addicts’ in a speech he made in his inauguration when he assumed office in 2016, which was followed by an order to the Philippine National Police to commit the killings at anyone they suspected as drug users in August 2017.


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