By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Are drug pushers and users part of humanity?
This was the question posed by Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III as the International Criminal Court (ICC) launches its preliminary examination into the allegations that President Duterte committed crimes against humanity in his campaign against illegal drugs.
Sotto, a staunch supporter of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs, believes that the complaint brought before the ICC by lawyer Jude Sabio against Duterte and other government officials will not prosper as he questioned if the drug suspects killed in the said campaign were part of the “humanity” that the international tribunal will look into.
“Ang tingin ko dun pa lang sa charge, hindi pwede, eh. Pag sinabi mong ‘crimes against humanity,’ eh sino ba yung humanity na binabanggit?…Humanity ba ang drug pusher at mga abusadong drug user (I think that the charge can’t be. When you say ‘crimes against humanity,’ who is the humanity being mentioned? Are drug pushers and stubborn drug users considered part of humanity)?” Sotto said in a radio interview this afternoon.
Sotto continued on, saying “Kung sagot nila oo, aba, eh isa sila run o suportado nila ang mga yun (If their answer is yes, then they’re either one of them or they support them).”
The majority floor leader took a swipe at critics of the drug war and told them not to celebrate yet as the ICC would still determine if there is basis to formally investigate the complaint.
He also cited recent survey results that prove support for the President’s leadership.
“Tuwang-tuwa ang 80 percent ng Filipino ah sa ginagawa ni presidente so sino yung humanity (Eighty percent of Filipinos are very happy with what the President is doing, so who is the ‘humanity’)?” he repeated.
Sotto shared the sentiments of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who predicted that the case will be dismissed due to the ICC’s “lack of jurisdiction.”
Pimentel, like Sotto, believes that the bloody war on illegal drug does not fall under the very serious and grave crimes against humanity.