Duterte, ICC and the NYT

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

I don’t know but the timing by which the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the New York Times have issued their acrimonious/fault-finding statements against President Rodrigo Duterte, when the Philippines is hosting the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, smacks of pure interference and arrogance.

There is no doubt that both the ICC and the NYT wants to generate negative feelings of dislike or distrust among the leaders of the member nations toward Duterte and his bloody war on drugs, alleged extrajudicial killings and even his unpredictable foreign policy, but all these will surely fall on deaf ears and come to naught.

The reason why I am saying this is because there is nothing but sheer respect and recognition for one another in their style of leadership and governance and meddling in the affairs of another state is definitely a no-no.

Thus, for entities like the ICC and the NYT to interfere in the affairs of the state is even worse because first and foremost they have to make sure that what they are saying or implying is factual.

Take the case of the NYT, for instance, where in its editorial, “Let the World Condemn Duterte”, it described the Philippine president as a “man to be stopped” and is urging the ICC to conduct a preliminary investigation on the spate of extrajudicial killings being linked to Duterte’s war on drugs.

There may be a “spate of extrajudicial killings” but how sure is the NYT and the ICC, for that matter, that the killings are state sanctioned? Because jailed Sen. Leila de Lima has been harping about it even as nothing materialized during the investigation she conducted against Duterte when she was still chair of the commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Justice Secretary?

Why has Duterte won overwhelmingly for president despite his alleged notorious past as mayor of Davao City, even when he did not have the political machinery?

Duterte won because many Filipinos looked up to him and believed in his promise to wage serious war against drugs, corruption and criminality.

What this means is that Filipinos were tired having ordinary and traditional politicians who had been ineffective running this country and who, in many ways than one, abetted in hindering the growth and development of the country.

What I am simply saying is that one has to live here and experience what it has been like for the country having one president after another for decades that did not have the political will and the spunk to make an impact in the lives of many poor Filipinos.

Fighting a war against people corrupted by drugs that include policemen, judges and other government officials masquerading as public servants is no easy task.

Duterte was not only able to unmask who the culprits are but has also discovered the enormity of the drug menace in the country and for this he continues to have the people’s trust and approval of his governance.

Other ASEAN leader recognizes the competency and authority of Duterte and has showed their high regard for his brand of leadership and this augurs well for the country’s future with him at the helm.

This is what matters most and not what the NYT, the ICC, and for that matter, the Amnesty International (AI), have been negatively blurting about against Duterte.

 

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Senator Santiago’s ICC appointment

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago vituperating

A lot has been said about Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s state of mind and the seemingly flawed decision by which she was selected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands.

I have done so myself a number of times, criticizing her demeanor and arrogance that does not speak well of her as a senator of the realm, especially her latest showing as senator-judge in the recently concluded impeachment case of erstwhile Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The only difference, however, is that I welcome wholeheartedly her impending assumption as a member of the ICC, for it is nothing but doing the country a favor – getting rid of one pesky individual whom the people have thoughtlessly voted to be their servant of the people. And, good Lord, what a contemptuous servant she has become!

I always consider her departure from the senate halls, in particular, and from the country, in general, no matter how temporary in nature it is going to be, as divine intervention.

Why? Because, we simply need a break and a breather from her outrageous and despicable disposition, bordering on rage and fury, while spewing diatribe at anybody that meets her fancy.

What is most painful, if one happens to be a victim of her capricious vituperation, is that all is done under the cloak of legislative immunity. It is as if being a senator gives her the license to assassinate any person’s character and reputation.

I, therefore, cannot understand why an organization of Filipinos, calling themselves US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPFGG) based in the United States, has started an online a Petition for the rejection and expulsion of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago from the International Criminal Court?

How could they initiate something ‘on behalf of concerned Filipino organizations and individuals in the Philippines and overseas who subscribe to and actively advocate the goal of competent, honest and progressive governance of our homeland, the Philippines’, when they are thousands of miles away and their cause is not even supported by majority of Filipinos in the country?

I feel insulted by this movement headed by a certain Atty. Rodel Rodis of California, the author of the Petition and president of the USPFGG, because what he thinks as a solution, in having Miriam rejected and/or expelled from the ICC, is actually giving the feisty senator the extended liberty of doing what she does best in this country – being uncivil, at best, and utterly ruthless, at worst, to her own countrymen.

Stop feeling ridiculously superior in attempting to influence our lives just because you are now in the U.S.A. Thanks, but no thanks.

What we need is a long overdue respite from Miriam’s disrespectful tantrums.

What we have longed for is a relief from her unwarranted emotional fits.

For her to be assigned far away to judge criminals, is her calling, so let it be.

She has been chosen to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, so let her go.

She is representing the Philippines and, therefore, will make sure to perform her best, and not be a disgrace to the country. She is not that crazy yet.

If Miriam continues to commit improprieties at the ICC, which I still hope she won’t, then let her be clobbered by the bat of world opinion regarding her unsuitability or let her be fried in her own oil of foolish arrogance by the world community.

It is still going to be fine with me, and, perhaps, to many Filipinos tired of her histrionics.

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KONY 2012 video maker in psychiatric care

 

Jason Russell

I am writing about this because a few blogs ago I wrote about this documentary and posted a video that tried to raise global awareness about the atrocities Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony inflicted on his people, especially the hapless children, for the purpose of catching and bringing him before The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has indicted him already for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This video became a huge online hit as it was endorsed and supported by an array of well known activists that included Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. Because of this, Jason Russell, the video filmmaker himself became an instant celebrity.

After an enormous success of the video, now comes adverse reaction from some critics saying  that the non-profit group Invisible Children (IC), the producer, made a simplistic video of what, otherwise, is a complex issue than just eliminating Kony from Uganda. It also accused IC for spending more of its resources on advocacy and film making rather than on-the-ground humanitarian work.

Meanwhile, Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi is said to have come up with his own YouTube response to Russell’s charity and the celebrity online campaign to negate the false impression that the country is in turmoil.

Mr. Mbabazi said: “I extend the invitation not just to the 20 celebrities, but to you all – come and see Uganda for yourself – you will find a very different place to that portrayed by Invisible Children.”

All these contradictory reaction and commentaries may have given Russell a big blow to his ego that instead of coming out a hero, he is now depicted as the villain; instead of a celebrity, he has now become a nobody.

Not being able to accept the opprobrium, he became irrational and placed in psychiatric care after he was found by the San Diego police naked, screaming and banging his fists on the pavement.

According to the police department he was possibly under the influence of something, however, his wife Danica later released a statement and denied substance abuse was involved.

“Jason has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn’t caused by either of those things. But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration,” she said.

We may never know the real reason why Russell went crazy, but one thing we know for sure: Kony is for real, loose, and somewhere in Africa.

Kony 2012 is all about Uganda’s diabolical Joseph Kony

Sixty two million hits and counting is how viral the KONY 2012 film has gone. Before this nobody exactly had full knowledge of who Joseph Kony is and what he has done to deserved the rage and condemnation of the whole world.

Like the notorious Idi Amin before him, who became known as the ‘Butcher of Uganda” for his brutal and despotic rule whilst president of Uganda in the 70s, Kony, the diabolical leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army is being hunted for the excesses he has done especially in kidnapping tens of thousands of children and youth for use as soldiers and sex slaves.

The effort to bring Kony to justice is now worldwide. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted him for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The KONY 2012 video that you are about to watch is attempting to make Kony, the monster, larger than life, “not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice”. Please click this link: KONY 2012 .

Of the ‘fires of hell’ and the Hague post for Miriam

 

Fr. Catalino Arevalo, S.J.

For those opposed at Sen. Miriam Santiago’s impeachment court antics and vituperation, who wouldn’t love to see her languishing in the ‘fires of hell?’

Fr. Catalino Arevalo, S.J., in his 80s, and one of those strongly disagreeing, and vocal enough to condemn Santiago’s behavior has quoted Matthew 5:20 during his homily at the historic Our Lady of Edsa Shrine, saying, “But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment. And if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council. And if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the fires of hell.”

This made reference at the height of Santiago’s ire and blistering attack at the prosecution panel when she called them “gago” or fools.

Sen. Miriam Santiago

The question, however, is: Is there such a place as hell to accommodate even a vituperous senator of the realm?

This question was answered by no less than the feisty senator herself who happens to hold a master’s degree in Theology who said that, “Under Vatican 2, there is no hell. But even if there is, there is nobody there. In theology, hell is not a geographical place, but is a metaphor for distance from God.”

Though I used to like Miriam, but abhor her now like a plague, I cannot help but agree with her.

In my younger days I had the privilege of knowing this old, kind and religious Spanish speaking lady, who, when we were talking about the realities of heaven and hell, looked at me straight and said: “No creas que hay infierno ni cielo. Se no tienes paz en el mundo y sigues viviendo en pecado y problemas, ya estas en el infierno. Pero se sigues viviendo feliz y en harmonia con los demas, estas seguro que ya estas en el cielo.” (Do not believe that there is hell or heaven. If you don’t have peace in the world and continue living in sin and problems, you are already in hell. But if you have a happy life and living in harmony with the rest, you can be sure that you are already in heaven.)

To this day I continue believing what the old lady has told me.

Shall we elaborate some more? With her cantankerous attitude, now you know who is spending time in hell already.

Relative to this issue, I fundamentally agree with Miriam when she gave an unsolicited advice to the priest, saying: “That priest should spend his energy fighting pedophilia within the Catholic church instead of meddling in politics and serving to divide church practitioners.” That is putting him in his rightful place.

Now, let us talk about Miriam’s forthcoming job as one of the 6 judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands. She, thus, becomes the first woman from an Asian developing state to join as a judge in the Netherlands-based international court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern.

Facebook media ‘afeccionados’ in the Philippines is abuzz with the move to send the Hague a letter asking to abrogate or disqualify Sen. Santiago as ICC judge because of her abominable behavior.

For crying out loud, why are you guys doing it?

Isn’t it a blessing that she will be gone for a long, long time and the whole nation won’t be putting up with her? Praise the Lord, as Christians says!

Amen, I say, and again, good riddance.

Miriam Santiago voted to the International Criminal Court

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is sound of mind after all and not, as some of her critics claim, off her rocker.

It was reported recently by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that the outspoken and high-strung Santiago, a constitutional law expert and former RTC judge, has “overwhelmingly” won a seat in the highly powerful International Criminal Court (ICC).

The ICC is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court located at The Hague in the Netherlands, where it was established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community.

Santiago, thus, besides being a notable Philippine senator, becomes the first woman from an Asian developing state to join as a judge of this prestigious court which runs after people committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

It must be remembered that Santiago, not too long ago, went on a four-month campaign to get States Parties’ support.

These visits paid off as Santiago reportedly topped the poll’s first round, effectively gaining a seat with 79 votes out of 104 valid votes, which DFA said was “an indication of the strong support from States Parties.”

State parties are those sovereign states that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC. As of December 2011, 120 states are states parties to the Statute of the Court, including all of South America, nearly all of Europe and roughly half the countries in Africa.

“I’ll have to resign [as senator]. Isn’t that good news for my enemies? I would have to live in The Hague. I will look like a European and speak like a European and I will be as snooty as a European when I come back,” she reportedly said.

Well, as usual Senator Santiago is being true to herself – feisty and implacable – and not because a nut is loose up there.

The Senate’s loss will be ICC’s gain.

I just do not know if his is good riddance or thank you, for not putting up anymore to her senate antics.

At any rate, she deserves the nation’s congratulations!