Trillanes: ICC receives Duterte video admitting to mass murder

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged receipt of a video showing former President Rodrigo Duterte admitting funding a death squad, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV announced.

“Na-acknowledge na po ng ICC ang pagtanggap ng video. Pakiramdam ko malapit nang makamit ang hustisya,” Trillanes said on his social media accounts Tuesday, October 17. (The ICC has acknowledged receiving the video. I feel justice is near.)

Trillanes said his group Magdalo has submitted to the ICC a video showing Duterte publicly admitting that he used confidential and intelligence funds to conduct extra-judicial killings (EJKs) on his constituents in Davao City when he was still a mayor.

In a 18-second clip of an interview Duterte gave to controversial cult leader Apollo Quiboloy over the SMNI channel last week, Duterte said, “Ang intelligence fund, binili ko, pinapatay ko lahat. Kaya ganoon ang Davao. Iyong mga kasama ninyo, pinatigok ko talaga. Iyon ang totoo.” (The intelligence fund, I bought (used) it, I had them all killed. That is why Davao is like that. Your colleagues, I really had them murdered. That is the truth.)

With his latest admission, Trillanes said the charges against Duterte “…is truly an open-and-shut case.”

In the video, Duterte was referring to his so-called Davao Death Squad when he was city mayor in 1988 to 1998, 2001 to 2010, and from 2013 to 2016.

Duterte ordered a similar nationwide killing spree through the Philippine National Police when he became president in 2016 that reportedly resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.

Various mass murder and crimes against humanity complaints by Trillanes’ Magdalo, the group of families of victims of Duterte’s drug war Rise Up for Life and For Rights and lawyer Jude Sabio have been filed before the ICC since 2017.

The ICC said its investigation cover EJKs committed by Duterte and his cohorts from November 2011 to March 16, 2019, a day before the Philippine government withdrew from ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute.

The ICC has rejected various appeals submitted by the Philippine government to discard the complaints and is expected to issue a warrant of arrest against Duterte and fellow respondents such as former police chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa. 

Trillanes called on the government of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to finally allow ICC investigators into the country, “…in order to make ex-president Rodrigo Duterte accountable for his crimes against humanity.” (Raymund B. Villanueva)