“Bayan Muna Urges ICC to Lodge Complaints Against Duterte Over the Recent Killings of Activists”

Neri Colmenares

Bayan MunaParty-list wants to file criminal charges against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court ( ICC) for the recent spate of activist killings. Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares said that Duterte and his administration could be blamed for the death of Negros-based activist Zara Alvarez and other events, as he continued to taunt his critics.

According to Colmenares, he encourages Prosecutor Fatou Bensoda, of the International Criminal Court, to file the complaint against Pres. Duterte at the International Criminal Court, so that an arrest warrant can be issued against him immediately.

In Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod District, an unidentified assailant gunned down Alvarez, who was a Karapatan paralegal staffer. A week ago, peace analyst Randy Echanis, National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was killed inside his rented home in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Activist groups have blamed the administration for the two recent killings, but presidential spokesman Harry Roque maintained the administration’s opposition to any sort of violence against civilians, including activists criticizing the government.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) in its investigation of the Echanis case asked the slain consultant’s relatives and friends to refrain from blaming authorities immediately without offering any conclusive evidence. Colmenares was one of the lawyers who lodged complaints before the ICC about Duterte for allegedly committing crimes against humanity in the controversial war against illegal immigrants

The ICC said in December 2019 that the investigation and evaluation of Duterte’s allegations will continue following the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute — the international agreement that established the ICC.

According to activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), however, Malacañang can still prove its sincerity in condemning the killing of Alvarez and Echanis by ordering an investigation of events, including other attacks against activists over the past five months.

Malacanang has denounced activist killings, it should illustrate why in the last 5 months at least four prominent activists have been killed. It should order all state powers to stop the red-tagging, stop intimidation and stop all attacks on activists, said Renato Reyes, Secretary General of Bayan

Will stop the killings. It is the obligation of the Philippine government, as a signatory to various human rights treaties, to stop the killings. There should not be one more activist killed, Reyes added.

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