MANILA, Philippines – Her police escorts have become stricter, but nothing could stop detained Senator Leila de Lima from shouting out a scathing tirade against President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, March 16.
“Akala ko ba hinamon niya ang ICC? #DuwagDuterte! (I thought he was challenging the ICC? #CowardDuterte)!” De Lima said as a dozen policemen towered over her, blocking her from camera view and rushing her to her mini bus before she could say more.
WATCH: Over her strict police escorts, De Lima shouts “Hashtag Duwag Duterte!” re ICC withdrawal pic.twitter.com/e3ysPZpbTC — Lian Buan (@lianbuan) March 16, 2018
De Lima referred to the hashtag that trended on Twitter after Duterte announced his decision to withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC), citing the alleged “bias” of the ICC prosecutor in starting preliminary examinations into his war on drugs.
In early February, Duterte said he welcomed the probe and challenged ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to investigate him.
The ICC said on Friday that even if the Philippines' withdrawal would take effect in the prescribed period of one year, it is still obliged to cooperate in the proceedings.
Preliminary examinations and the subsequent investigation of the ICC prosecutor can take years and years, based on the court's track record, but De Lima called on the ICC to act with urgency on the complaint against Duterte because “killings are still happening.”
De Lima’s arraignment was again postponed on Friday as she filed a motion for the court to order the Department of Justice (DOJ) to let her examine their drug trading evidence against her.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte, has been in jail for over a year for 3 counts of illegal drug trading, which she called trumped-up charges. The DOJ filed the case against her after she initiated the Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com