Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

East Libya Elite Force of Khalifa Haftar Refuses International Criminal Court Order To Arrest Mahmoud al-Werfalli For Possible War Crimes

August 16, 2017

BENGHAZI, Libya — An elite forces unit linked to the army that controls much of eastern Libya has snubbed international efforts to bring to justice one of its senior officers for allegedly executing dozens of prisoners.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a commander in the Special Forces of Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA).

Image result for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, photos

Mahmoud al-Werfalli

The accusations against him relate to incidents in and near Benghazi in spring and early summer, towards the end of a three-year LNA campaign against Islamists and other opponents in Libya’s second city.

Videos circulated on social media appear to show Werfalli executing or overseeing the execution of masked and handcuffed prisoners

“The Special Forces strongly reject the arrest warrant,” spokesman Milad Al-Zwai said.

Zwai said the ICC should instead focus on arresting “those who killed and displaced men, women and children, and the people who meted out torture and killing and destruction.”

“We will continue our struggle against this oppressive faction,” he said without further explanation. His statement mentioned neither the videos nor the accusations against Werfalli.

In May, Werfalli announced his resignation from the Special Forces, but this was rejected by the unit’s top commander. The following month a U.N. panel of experts reported he was involved in running secret detention centers outside Benghazi.

The LNA has previously said it would investigate war crimes allegations in eastern Libya, where it is the main military force.

The Special Forces is an elite unit nominally under LNA control that joined the Benghazi campaign in its early stages.

Since announcing victory in the campaign in July, the LNA has extended its presence in the center and south of the divided country as it has vied for control with forces linked to the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and other rivals.

GNA Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj and Haftar last month committed to a conditional ceasefire and to work towards holding elections next spring in talks brokered by France.

Several previous attempts at peace deals have been scuttled by internal divisions between the myriad of competing armed groups that have emerged in oil-producing Libya since rebels toppled strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

In July, the United Nations said it was deeply concerned that people detained by the LNA might be at risk of torture or summary execution.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has said she “will not hesitate to bring new cases” in Libya, where evidence dictates.

(Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Ahmed Elumami, additional reporting and editing by Aidan Lewis; editing by John Stonestreet)

Related:

Advertisements

Philippine police kill 32 in drugs war’s bloodiest day

August 16, 2017

Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte presides over a special cabinet meeting at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City, southern Philippines. REUTERS

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine police killed 32 people in dozens of anti-drug operations in a province north of the capital, Manila, in the single deadliest day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unrelenting war on drugs.

About 109 petty criminals, including street-level drug peddlers were arrested and dozens of guns seized in police operations across Bulacan province from Monday night until Tuesday afternoon, said provincial police chief, Romeo Caramat.

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

Male residents are rounded up for verification after police officers conducted a large scale anti-drug raid at a slum community in Manila on July 20, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

“We have conducted ‘one-time, big-time’ operations in the past, so far, the number of casualties and deaths, this is the highest,” Caramat told a news conference.

He defended police action and said the deaths were during shootouts, and were not executions, as activists have often alleged.

“There are some sectors that will not believe us, but, we are open for any investigation. All we can say is that we don’t have any control of the situation. As much as possible, we don’t want this bloody encounter.”

Thousands of people have been killed in the anti-drugs campaign, Duterte’s signature policy, since it was launched on June 30 last year, most users and small-time dealers from poor neighborhoods.

The intensity of the crackdown has alarmed the international community, and activists and human rights groups say police have been executing suspects and planting drugs and guns at crime scenes. Police and the government officials reject that.

Police also deny involvement in thousands of murders by mysterious gunmen, blaming them on gang turf wars, drug dealers silencing informants, or vigilantes targeting drug users.

“There were 32 killed in Bulacan in a massive raid, that’s good,” Duterte said in a speech.

“Let’s kill another 32 every day. Maybe we can reduce what ails this country.”

Police conducted 49 sting drug operations in Bulacan that resulted in about 20 armed encounters, Caramat said. Ten other gunfights ensued when police tried to serve arrest warrants to suspects who fought back.

He said 93 of those held were wanted for other crimes, as well as drugs offences.

Bulacan has been a major target in the drugs war, with some 425 people killed and 4,000 offenders arrested, according to Caramat, making it the second-biggest hot spot in the crackdown outside of the Manila area.

Political opponents of Duterte have filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing the president and top aides of crimes against humanity, arguing they failed to address allegations of widespread police abuses that have been brought to their attention.

Duterte has welcomed the ICC complaint, and said he was willing to rot in jail to protect Filipinos.

He has often complained about human rights groups criticizing and undermining his campaign and on Wednesday said he would instead investigate them, or worse.

“If they are obstructing justice, shoot them,” he said.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato and Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty, Robert Birsel

Related:

Palestinian civilians urge ICC to speed up ‘war crimes’ probe

July 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | According to UN figures 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, were killed in fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas and other factions

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Palestinian lawyers and civil society groups Wednesday urged the International Criminal Court to speed up inquiries and open a full investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza, east Jerusalem and the West Bank.”Since two years Palestine is under preliminary examination,” said lawyer Gilles Devers, adding “in Gaza, we think two years is too long.”

The Palestinian Authority has formally asked the ICC to investigate Israel, which is not a party to the Rome Statute that governs the court, for alleged war crimes.

It has presented the court with a dossier alleging abuses during the 2014 summer Gaza war, and for the Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestinian territories.

In January 2015, the tribunal opened a preliminary examination into alleged abuses by all sides in the conflict. And an ICC delegation visited Israel and the West Bank in late 2016.

But Palestinian activists told reporters Wednesday the investigation has stalled, calling for both the ICC and the Palestinian Authority to speed up efforts.

Lawyers representing 448 named victims, and more than 50 Palestinian trade unions and organisations, were handing over Wednesday a thick dossier to the ICC prosecutor’s office which they said showed “clearly that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed.”

The Gaza conflict, in which according to UN figures 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, were killed in fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas and other factions, was clearly “a war crime” and the “ICC was competent” to handle it, said Devers, speaking in English.

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had “an obligation” to move beyond a preliminary examination to a full investigation, he told reporters before meeting with representatives from her office.

The dossier has been drafted by more than 30 lawyers in the Palestinian territories, and it is the first time that Palestinian civil groups, including doctors, farmers, fishermen and teachers, have appealed directly to the ICC.

The group said it has taken the action because of “the lack of political will on behalf of the Palestinian Authority” which it said had not made an official complaint as a state member of the ICC.

Devers said the group was also hoping to persuade the ICC to open a full investigation “as a matter of urgency” into the situation in east Jerusalem.

Protests and scuffles between demonstrators and Israeli police have erupted in recent days outside the Haram al-Sharif compound, which includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

The site is venerated by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam, and by Jews as the most sacred site in Judaism.

But Israel closed the ultra-sensitive compound on Friday and Saturday, after an attack by an Arab Israeli on Friday left two Israeli police dead, as has triggered Palestinian fury by installing metal detectors at its entrances.

Philippine President Duterte Critic Says Institutions of Government Failing Include The Senate, National Police, and Armed Forces — “Duterte won’t complete his term”

July 3, 2017
 

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday lamented that “lapdogs” of the Duterte administration now comprise the Senate, which is supposed to fulfill its role as “the last bastion of democracy” in the country.

Speaking to reporters during the weekly Samahang Plaridel forum at the Manila Hotel, Trillanes, a critic of President Duterte, said that the inaction of his fellow senators has reduced them to being mere puppets of the current administration.

“(Senators) don’t want to investigate anymore,” Trillanes said, even calling the pro-Duterte senators “cowards” for failing to perform their duty to look into alleged anomalies in the government.

Trillanes said the Senate is now one of the most damaged institutions in government, apart from the judiciary, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) since Duterte assumed the presidency.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) during a press conference at the Malacanang palace in Manila on January 30, 2017. © NOEL CELIS / POOL / AFP

“Here, you see senators afraid. They say they’re allies (of the President) only because they could not admit they’re afraid,” he said.

The opposition senator said that while other senators whose committees are in the “periphery” quietly do their work, some in the major panels who should be at the forefront of checking abuses of the government are not doing their jobs because “their tails are between their legs.”

Trillanes also said the PNP is being damaged by Duterte’s leading the alleged summary executions of drug suspects and other human rights violations that he feared are being emulated by some police officers.

The senator said the AFP is also slowly being influenced by Duterte into supporting what the senator claimed was the Chief Executive’s grand plan to impose martial law nationwide.

‘Duterte won’t finish his term’

Trillanes said Duterte is not a true leader but someone who is lazy and gets by through tough talk.

He said he does not believe Duterte will be able to last until 2022 and finish his six-year term, as he expects The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to act on complaints of mass killings against him.

Lawyer Jose Sabio earlier asked the ICC to investigate, leading to issuing a warrant of arrest against Duterte for the thousands of drug-related extrajudicial killings in the country.

Trillanes and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano have filed a supplemental complaint before the ICC.

The senator said Duterte will also face another impeachment complaint next year.

Colleagues hit back

Trillanes’ colleagues hit back at him and questioned his state of mind.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said he had heard Trillanes’ tirades before.

“Why revive it just for him to be in the news?” Pimentel said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he did not know where Trillanes was coming from and was not even “sure if he is still rational in his thinking.”

“One thing I’m sure about, he is dead wrong, he is so out of touch with reality, if not hallucinating too much. Calling one’s own colleagues cowards wholesale and without qualifying is the darndest thing he can do,” Lacson said. – With Perseus Echeminada

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/04/1716224/trillanes-calls-pro-duterte-senators-cowards

Related:

Lawyer for Philippine president calls ICC complaint ‘propaganda’

April 24, 2017

Reuters

The chief lawyer for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday dismissed a complaint made against the leader and his top officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “propaganda”, and doubted it had jurisdiction over the issue.

Image may contain: 1 person

FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announces the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines early January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Ezra Acayan/File Photo

MANILA:The chief lawyer for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday dismissed a complaint made against the leader and his top officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “propaganda”, and doubted it had jurisdiction over the issue.

In a telephone interview with news channel ANC, Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the 77-page complaint filed by a Philippine lawyer Jude Sabio accusing Duterte of crimes against humanity was an attempted slur by the president’s opponents.

Panelo said there was no evidence to support allegations that state-sponsored extrajudicial killings had taken place under Duterte’s presidency, or when he was mayor of southern Davao City. The allegations centre on Duterte’s bloody nationwide war on drugs and his anti-crime campaigns in Davao.

(Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/lawyer-for-philippine-president-calls-icc-complaint–propaganda–8788062

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is alleged to have killed some 8,000 people — Now a lawyer wants the International Criminal Court to hear the facts

April 24, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Sophie MIGNON | Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is alleged to have killed some 8,000 people

THE HAGUE (AFP) – 

A Philippine lawyer on Monday filed a complaint at the world’s only permanent war crimes court against President Rodrigo Duterte, alleging his war on drugs has caused some 8,000 deaths.

Lawyer Jude Sabio urged the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Duterte and senior adminstration officials and bring charges of crimes against humanity against them for “the terrifying and gruesome situation of continuing mass murder in the Philippines”.

Sabio, who is the lawyer for Duterte’s confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, said the president “began his strategy or system of eliminating or killing persons suspected of crimes, including drug addicts and pushers” when he became mayor of Davao City in 1988.

“The ‘repeated, unchanging and continuous’ mass murder being conducted by the President Duterte has already resulted into the deaths of not less than 1,400 individuals in Davao City under his Davao Death Squad and not less than 7,000 individuals in his war on drugs at the national level,” the filing said.

Sabio travelled to The Hague to hand over his complaint in person to the office of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

There was no immediate reply from her office to an AFP request for comment, but Bensouda in October issued a strong statement about the alleged killings, warning those responsible could face prosecution.

“I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements from high officials of the… Philippines seem to condone such killings,” she said.

“Let me be clear: any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing… to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable for prosecution before the court.”

Duterte won election by a landslide last May largely on his promise to launch a war on illegal drugs.

Although the campaign has proved popular at home, the president has faced international criticism for the thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings.

– Police probe under way –

The government denies the allegations, and presidential spokesman Ernie Abella said Monday that police were already probing those suspected “of violating procedures.”

He also pointed to an investigation by the country’s Senate, in which Matobato was a star witness, and said the ICC “as a court of last resort, will only exercise jurisdiction over a case once legal remedies in the Philippines have been exhausted.”

The so-called ‘extrajudicial killings’, are not state-sanctioned or state-sponsored. Police authorities are conducting legitimate operations that require observance of operational protocols,” Abella added.

Since it began work in 2002, the ICC says the prosecutor’s office has received some 10,000 requests from individuals, groups or countries to investigate alleged crimes.

It is then up to the prosecutor to decide if there is enough cause to open a preliminary inquiry into whether a full-blown investigation is then merited. There are currently 10 preliminary examinations, and 10 full investigations under way.

A total of 23 cases have been dealt with, securing nine convictions and one acquittal. Five trials are ongoing.

by Sophie MIGNON
.
Related:
.
.
.

Lawyer for Philippines hit-man files complaint against President Duterte at International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity

April 24, 2017

Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting with the Filipino community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
By Clare Baldwin and Stephanie van den Berg | HONG KONG/THE HAGUE

A Philippines lawyer filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials on Monday, accusing them of crimes against humanity in a nationwide anti-drugs crackdown.

Attorney Jude Sabio said in the 77-page complaint that Duterte “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed crimes against humanity and that under him, killing drug suspects and other criminals has become “best practice”.

Sabio is the lawyer for Edgar Matobato, a man who has testified in the Philippines Senate that he was part of a hit squad that operated on Duterte’s orders.

It is the first publicly known communication to the ICC against Duterte and is based on the testimony of Matobato and retired policeman Arturo Lascanas, statements from rights groups and media reports, including a Reuters series on the killings.

The complaint alleges that Duterte and at least 11 senior government officials are liable for murder and calls for an investigation, arrest warrants and a trial.

Lawmakers found no proof of Matobato’s Senate testimony, which the president’s aides have dismissed as fabrication.

Almost 9,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office last summer. Police claim a third of those killings were in self-defence during legitimate police operations. Rights groups say many of the remaining two-thirds were committed by vigilantes cooperating with the police or by police disguised as vigilantes. Police deny this.

Duterte has persistently denied he is involved with any death squad and said that his orders to kill drug suspects come with the caveat that police should operate within the bounds of the law.

Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for Duterte, said last week authorities “follow operational protocols” and those who breached procedures were made to answer before the law.

He added that news reports about close to 9,000 people being killed in the drug war was “false news”.

“We can confirm we have received a communication,” the ICC Office of the Prosecutor said in a statement. “We will analyse it, as appropriate. As soon as we reach a decision, we will inform the sender and provide reasons for our decision.”

Officials at Duterte’s office said they were not immediately able to comment.

FIRST STEP

Since it was set up in July 2002, the ICC has received over 12,0000 complaints or communications. Nine of these cases have gone to trial and six verdicts have been delivered.

The ICC has no powers of enforcement, and any non-compliance has to be referred to the United Nations or the court’s own oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties.

The complaint is only a possible first step in what could be a long process at the ICC. The tribunal first has to decide whether it has jurisdiction, and then decide whether it should conduct a preliminary examination.

It can then ask a judge to open an official investigation, which could lead to a trial.

Duterte has said he welcomed the prospect of the ICC putting him on trial. He said last month he would not be intimidated and his campaign against drugs would be unrelenting and “brutal”.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said last year her office was following developments in the Philippines “with a view to assessing whether a preliminary examination needs to be opened”.

“I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the Republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings and further seem to encourage state forces and civilians alike to continue targeting these individuals with lethal force,” she said.

(Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Related:

.
.
Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
.

.

Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

.

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
.

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippines President Duterte Again Floats Idea of Martial Law — Groups vow ‘rising resistance’

March 23, 2017

In a democracy, the people “own” the President and all the lawmakers. Under martial law, some say the President “owns” the people….

President Rodrigo Duterte urges Filipinos, in his speech during the meeting with the Filipino community at the Horizon Lake View Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on March 19, 2017, to be more assertive of their rights and proactive in reporting corruption in government. PCOO/Released
.
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan on Thursday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for again mentioning martial law, saying doing so will not solve illegal drugs and terrorism.
.
Karapatan Secretary-General Cristina Palabay said in a statement that the human rights situation in the country will only worsen with the imposition of martial law, which Duterte again floated as a possibility to address security issues in parts of Mindanao.
 .
“It is unacceptable that Duterte trifles with concepts and rhetoric that will result to open fascist rule,” Palabay said.
 .
In a speech on Wednesday evening, Duterte again mentioned martial law, a prickly issue for many Filipinos.
 .
“Pag ako ang pumasok sa Mindanao ng martial law, I will see to it, tapos ang lahat,” Duterte said in his speech at Ninoy Aquino International Airport after he returned from Thailand.
 .
Duterte has been criticized in the past for contradictory statements on martial rule. In one of his speeches, he said that he does not want to impose martial law but also said in another speech, that no one will be able to stop him from declaring it.
 .
The Palace has often clarified Duterte’s statements on martial law and other issues and a Palace spokesman even criticized the press for what he said was misinterpreting what Duterte said.
 .
Palabay said that Duterte should expect “strong resistance” from the Filipino people against martial law and any other fascist attacks.
 .
Kabataan: Martial law will be met with rising resistance
 .
Kabataan party-list, meanwhile, promised “rising resistance” if “Duterte keeps toying with the idea of martial law and increased fascist repression.”
 .
Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said that solving the root causes of poverty and conflict, and not martial rule, will ensure security in Mindanao and the rest of the country.
 .
“Martial law and all-out war has only caused harm and discord among our communities, and even right now, Duterte’s fascist offensives have only increased the casualties,” she said.
 .
“Illegal arrests and detention remain, just like during Marcos’ martial law days, and around 400 and counting political prisoners with trumped-up charges are still waiting to be released. And even up to now, justice is still wanting for the Martial Law victims and their families,” Elago also said.
 .
Earlier this month, Davao-based Konsyensya Dabaw also warned Duterte against declaring martial law in Mindanao, saying the situation there only got worse the last time it was declared across the country.
.
“Mindanao became more neglected and its development even more stunted as Marcos and his cronies sought to funnel government resources to areas that they controlled. We were the cash cow that got peanuts. The violent and frontier image that Marcos had cultivated to warrant the continuation of authoritarian rule made Mindanao unattractive to more sustainable economic activities,” the group said.
 .
The statement was made in response to a speech where Duterte asked local executives of Mindanao to help him curb terrorism and extremism or he would be forced to declare martial law.
.
.
Related:
.
.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) during a press conference at the Malacanang palace in Manila on January 30, 2017. © NOEL CELIS / POOL / AFP

Image may contain: indoor

Philippines: Filipino’s killed by police without a court warrant or hearing in President Duterte’s “war on drugs.”

Amnesty International accused the Filipino police of murdering defenceless people or paying others to kill as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war

Amnesty International accused the Filipino police of murdering defenceless people or paying others to kill as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war ©NOEL CELIS (AFP/File)

 

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Image result for Phelim Kine, photos

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

 

Image result for photos, Boy Cruz, philippine star, philippine national police officer killed

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

 (December 23, 2016)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
.

 

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

 

 

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
.

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippines: President Duterte again warns of imposing martial law — But (some) key advisors say the threat is not serious

March 12, 2017

Martial law threat: Is Duterte serious?

“The President is not a dictator. The legislative and judiciary are independent from each other and we’re cooperating with them,” Abella said over the state-run Radyo ng Bayan. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines –  After President Duterte warned of imposing martial law in Mindanao should local officials fail to address the peace and order situation in the region, two Palace officials yesterday expressed different opinions on whether the President was serious about his threat.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella downplayed Duterte’s warning, saying the President is not a dictator despite having a strong stance against drugs and corruption.

“The President is not a dictator. The legislative and judiciary are independent from each other and we’re cooperating with them,” Abella said over the state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

But Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno believes Duterte is serious with his threats in Mindanao and just wants local officials to take the lead.

“If they don’t act, the President is really serious about martial law,” Sueno said referring to local officials in Mindanao.

Abella’s reference to a “dictator” came in the wake of Duterte’s statement that he might be compelled to declare martial law in Mindanao if local officials would not help him in the fight against terrorism, extremism and rebellion.

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo by WONG MAYE-E for AP)

Sueno said Duterte felt that local government officials in Mindanao are not doing enough to address the security problem.

“In previous years, it seemed the local chief executives just leave the peace and order problem to the military and police. They do not take the lead,” he said.

Sueno allayed fears that Duterte is mulling imposing martial law in the entire country, noting there is no pressing security concerns in other regions, including in Luzon.

Abella also downplayed concerns raised by European Union Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom regarding the administration’s anti-crime efforts, as well as the plan to elevate the complaint on extrajudicial killings before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He justified the need for the President to appear strong when issuing public statements.

He said it would take an authoritative leader to lead a country like the Philippines, especially with its porous borders and problems on illegal drugs, terrorism and rebellion.

Abella stressed his point in an effort to explain Duterte’s campaign against corruption and his anti-crime stance following Malstrom’s remarks that the anti-crime campaign might affect trade relations between the EU and the Philippines.

Malstrom said the EU is concerned about some of the issues here in the Philippines, including the reimposition of the death penalty, extrajudicial killings and lowering the age of discernment.

Abella reiterated the need for the Duterte administration to address crime and corruption in order to achieve significant economic growth.

“Upon his assumption, he learned that there are many people in power and authority who are into this kind of crime, especially illegal drugs,” he said.

He said the government could not turn a blind eye on the problems that affect the country.

“The threats cannot be ignored,” he said, adding these are matters that the international community like the EU may not be able to understand.

“We need to secure our country and ensure that it is safe so we can pursue economic growth.”

The Palace official said the President does not tolerate extrajudicial killings.

He brushed aside a statement issued by international watchdog Human Rights Watch, which criticized Duterte for encouraging extrajudicial killings.

“We should understand where the President is coming from,” Abella said, citing anew the context of Duterte’s threat to impose martial during a recent speech before the local officials of Mindanao.

He downplayed the revelations of retired police officer Arthur Lascañas, who testified about Duterte’s role in the Davao death squad. With Emmanuel Tupas

Related:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (R) during a press conference at the Malacanang palace in Manila on January 30, 2017. © NOEL CELIS / POOL / AFP

Image may contain: indoor

Philippines: Filipino’s killed by police without a court warrant or hearing in President Duterte’s “war on drugs.”

Amnesty International accused the Filipino police of murdering defenceless people or paying others to kill as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war

Amnesty International accused the Filipino police of murdering defenceless people or paying others to kill as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war ©NOEL CELIS (AFP/File)

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

 (December 23, 2016)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
.

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
.

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Australia Will Press International Criminal Court (ICC) on Attacks Against Israel

February 26, 2017

 BY HERB KEINON
FEBRUARY 26, 2017 15:54
.
Sources dismiss speculation Netanyahu made any contact with Indonesian president in Australia.
.Image may contain: skyscraper, sky, cloud and outdoor
The entrance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is seen in The Hague. (photo credit:REUTERS
.
SYDNEY – Australia is willing to be an “important player” in keeping pressure on the International Criminal Court so it is not used as a vehicle to attack Israel, a senior diplomatic official said Sunday, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

.

Bishop, according to the official, committed Australia to continue defending Israel in hostile international forums, as it has done until now.

No automatic alt text available.

The official said Netanyahu was trying to put together a group of nations that – in addition to the US under President Donald Trump – would both take a more aggressive tone against Iran, and also block efforts to castigate Israel in various international forums.

Netanyahu met Bishop shortly before leaving Australia after a five day visit. In that meeting, he raised the idea of “Gaza First” to illustrate how unrealistic it was at this time to talk about a Palestinian state.

Bishop asked Netanyahu to explain comments he made upon his arrival to Australia, when he responded to the calls by two former Australian prime ministers for Canberra to recognize a Palestinian state by replying: “ What kind of state will it be that they are advocating? A state that calls for Israel’s destruction? A state whose territory will be used immediately for radical Islam?”

Netanyahu told Bishop that under any possible scenario — including a two-state solution — “Israel will have to retain ultimate security control.”

When Bishop asked whether there might be another alternative to Israeli security control, Netanyahu responded: “Is anyone willing to go into Gaza? Is there a force in the world to do it,” he asked. “We left Gaza, and Hamas entered,” he said. “Who is going to go in there to ensure that this does not happen.”

Netanyahu drew on the experiences of international forces such as UNIFIL in Lebanon, UNDORF on the Golan Heights, and EU BAM at the crossings in Gaza – all forces that failed in their mandates – to stress that only Israeli control would be acceptable.

Netanyahu made clear to Bishop that for Israel, a Palestinian state must recognize Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, and be demilitarized, with Israel retaining ultimate security control.

Sources in the prime minister’s entourage dismissed speculation that there was any contact during Netanyahu’s visit between his entourage and that of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who arrived in Australia on Saturday for his first visit as president.

Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, though over the years there has been contact at the highest diplomatic levels. Delegations of Indonesian journalists are also periodically invited to the country.

In addition, Israeli businesses reportedly trade with Indonesia informally through both Australia and Indonesia.

Nevertheless, on his recent flight from Singapore to Sydney, Netanyahu’s plane was forced to take a circuitous route that lengthened his trip by some three hours — from about eight to 11 hours — because Indonesia would not let his El AL plane fly over its airspace.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Australia-will-press-ICC-to-avoid-attacks-against-Israel-says-top-official-482624