Once again, the Philippine Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) can only stand back and watch as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte leads his country down a different path. That they are left scratching their heads wondering What’s next? proves they never had a strategy to deal with this situation to begin with. They had no plan around what to do even in this most obvious of scenarios currently playing out.
The worst thing the Yellowtards did, in fact, was come knocking at the door of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to begin with. What they did, in effect, was invite a foreign court to infringe upon the authority of the Philippines’ judicial branch over a domestic affair. Perhaps driven by blind hatred or simple plain stupidity, the Yellowtards failed to realise that they were up against the Supreme Court itself which is constitutionally-mandated to be the final interpreter of Philippine Law. It is unlikely that officers of the Philippine judiciary would take the prospect of a foreign “court” meddling in Philippine affairs sitting down.
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The fact that a state even has the option to “withdraw” from a court’s jurisdiction is proof that the ICC is not a real “court”. Imagine a Filipino “withdrawing” from the authority of the Philippine’s Supreme Court (or any Philippine court for that matter). Ridiculous, right? That’s because Philippine courts are real courts. The ICC is one that merely pretends to be one. This further highlights just how stupid members of the Opposition who went on junkets to The Hague supposedly to do business with the ICC are. If a Filipino tried to exempt herself from the authority of a Philippine court, she would soon be getting a call from the police and, perhaps, marched out of her home in handcuffs. Does the ICC have the capability or the authority to do the equivalent of this? Would they be able to send an armed force to take custody of a Philippine national from within Philippine territory?
Foreign lackeys of the Opposition, however, remain adamant (or hooked on the Kool-Aid routinely served to them). Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific, for one, reportedly issued this rather hollow veiled threat…
The Philippines’ withdrawal won’t change the fact that those responsible for crimes under international law committed during the Duterte administration’s bloody anti-drugs campaign will be held to account – at the ICC or through other international justice initiatives.
Even more astounding, Bequelin presumes to speak for Filipinos going further to assert that “Filipinos bravely challenging the ‘war on drugs’ or seeking justice for their loved ones need international support to help them end this climate of fear, violence and impunity.” Perhaps Bequelin should be reminded that the will of Filipinos only legally manifests itself through the institutional democratic processes that currently function in the Philippines — through its elections, the representatives in its legislature who are elected by popular vote, and through their Chief Executive who was elected to office in 2016 and continues to enjoy the confidence of the vast majority of Filipinos.
Indeed, this ICC stunt being mounted by the Opposition illustrates just how inconsistent and hypocritical the Philippine Opposition are. On one hand, they would participate in a national election and go through all the motions to campaign for the right to sit in Congress. Yet, on another, they would baldly usurp the authority of the very institutions that govern this political exercise. This just demonstrates the lengths to which leaders of the Opposition would go to seize power and influence — to the extent of undermining the very democratic institutions — and the very sovereignty of their own country — they pretend to “defend”.
The fact is, the Yellowtard-led Opposition offer nothing to the Filipino people beyond the trite abstract notions of “human rights”, “equality”, and “freedom” that had degenerated to mere trendy platitudes under their watch. These otherwise noble concepts had been politicised beyond all recognition after 30 years of the liberal Yellow narrative of prayerful “martyrs”, “heroes”, and “peaceful” street “revolutions” being shoved down Filipinos’ throats using the awesome corporate power of ABS-CBN, the Inquirer Group, and other mass media outlets that owe favours to the Philippines’ traditional powers-that-be.
Filipinos should, instead, laud their country’s withdrawal from a “criminal court” operating on the other side of the planet as another step towards real independence — something that the Yellowtards are evidently fearful of. Indeed, it is high time Filipinos start asking the right questions, like why, indeed, are the Yellowtards afraid of a truly independent Philippine nation. Until these right questions are asked and real answers demanded of Yellowtard politicians, this mystery will continue to persist and real independence will continue to elude Filipinos.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.