The panel of the International People’s Tribunal | Image grabbed from the Facebook page of International Peoples’ Tribunal PH
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang shrugged off the guilty verdict handed to President Rodrigo Duterte by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on charges of human rights violations.
According to presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the said tribunal which recently convened in Brussels, Belgium, is propaganda body comprised of left-leaning groups.
“That’s a sham decision. It has no official sanction. The validity of the findings will depend on the credibility of the tribunals. They appear to be a propaganda body of the international left, and therefore we set it aside as a useless piece of propaganda against the government,” said Roque.
IPT 2018 convened this week to hear cases filed against Duterte on his alleged violations against political, civil, economic, social rights, international humanitarian law and others.
The IPT findings will reportedly be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), European Parliament and International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.
“We heard the summary of testimonies of witnesses — many of them heart-wrenching, traumatic and horrific- experts and resource persons as well as the digest of wealth of data, information, facts, and other evidence. It is our consensus therefore, the defendants Duterte, trump and all other defendants are guilty of all the charges specified in the indictment and therefore they are accountable for crimes against humanity,” said the jury.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said the International People’s Tribunal is initiated by the people to seek redress when traditional institutions are either limited or skewed.
NUPL President Edre Olalia also said in a statement that the IPT is a unique arena or platform for the urgent process of establishing the truth.
He also stood firm that IPT observes due process and defendants are notified and given the opportunity to participate and defend themselves.
Olalia added that IPT’s panel is composed of eminent jurors from different disciplines and the proceedings are conducted in an open and public trial. — Rosalie Coz
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