By: Elena Grace Flores
Most Filipinos might understand President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions, and “killing” speeches when expressing his dedication in fighting against illegal drugs – but many people in the international community especially the UN don’t. Worst, they thought it’s a crime. Why do they matter? It is important to be cautious on this because we are a UN Nation. That means that the country is also covered with the international law.
Youtube video by; Elena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Ang pagsisimula ng UN sa pagpapatalsik kay Duterte – the UN starts to probe president Duterte on allegations for extra-judicial killings that he allegedly admitted publicly. His plight is seen the same as that of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand but he might survive it if Bongbong Marcos wins the electoral protests as the voted Vice President worthy enough to replace him.
Incitement to Killing Definition
Generally speaking, “incitement” means encouraging or persuading another to commit an offense by way of communication. This can be by employing broadcasts, publications, drawings, images, or speeches. It is “public” under international law if it is communicated to a number of individuals. It can be in a public place or to members of a population at large by such means as the mass media. Among other things, its “public” nature distinguishes it from an act of private incitement. Incitement to genocide must also be proven to be “direct,” meaning that both the speaker and the listener understand the speech to be a call to action.
Hard to Prove
Prosecutors have found it challenging to prove what “direct” may mean in different cultures, as well as its meaning to a given speaker. Moreover, public incitement to genocide can be prosecuted even if genocide is never perpetrated. Lawyers, therefore, classify the infraction an “inchoate crime”: a proof of result is not necessary for the crime to have been committed, only that it had the potential to spur genocidal violence. It is the intention of the speaker that matters, not the effectiveness of the speech in causing criminal action. This distinction helps to make the law preventative, rather than reactive.
Similarity to ex-PM of Thailand’s Strategy
Like Duterte, Thaksin also wanted to get rid of the drug menace fast – in three months initially. It will be “ruthless with drug dealers” who many think “deserved to be shot dead and have their assets seized.” “In February 2003, Thaksin launched a ‘war on drugs’ to suppress drug trafficking and prevent drug use. The main outcome of this policy was arbitrary killings. The first three months of the campaign saw some 2,800 extra-judicial killings.” Thaksin commented on the possibility that the United Nations might send a team to probe the killings. “The UN is not my father,” he said – showing his toughness like Duterte.
Lacson, in a statement, pointed out that the UN rights chief “is not familiar” with the Philippine Constitution and its laws. He noted that all Philippine presidents enjoy immunity from suit during his or her term and that there has yet to be proof of state-sponsored killings in the country. “First, our president enjoys immunity from suit during his term. Second, no matter how many times a person in our country admits having committed murder, as long as there is no other evidence to corroborate his extrajudicial confession, the case cannot stand in any court of law,” Lacson said. “That UN official can shout to high heavens to investigate the President but unfortunately for him, he can’t get past that call,” he added. This might be true when it comes to local prosecution but how about the international court that led Thaksin to be charged with crimes against humanity? He for sure got get exiled from his country by a military coup – but they cannot do it without the backing of such international force just like during the EDSA revolt that forced the late president Ferdinand E. Marcos to step down.