A suspect investigates a suspect


“How ironic.”

Last week, Fatou Bensouda, just hours before his retirement as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, released the results of his investigation into the alleged extrajudicial killings carried out by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in connection with his war. against drugs. According to Bensouda, there is “a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed” in the Philippines, so the case is now under formal trial. And of course, the number one suspect is no less than the president of the country. While I have no idea what she relied on to come to such conclusions (which I will discuss later), I believe the bigger question would not be the basis for her conclusion of the case. but the very reason she was chosen as the ICC prosecutor in the first place. Bensouda comes from the Republic of The Gambia, an African country besieged by massive cases of human rights violations. According to the World Health Organization, 78.3% of Gambian girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation, a kind of excision imposed on them. A journalist, Ebrima Manneh, was reportedly arrested in July 2006 by The Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency after attempting to republish a BBC report criticizing President Yahya Jammeh and has been held secretly since then. And in 2019, the Gambian newspaper The Trumpet reported that Manneh had died in captivity at one point in mid-2008. Now, does coming from a country plagued by human rights issues make her the most qualified for the post of prosecutor at the ICC? I don’t think so, because it might even hurt his cause against the strongman rulers. But there is more to be prejudiced as his human rights credibility is questioned by a Filipino senator. According to Senator Francis Tolentino, Bensouda was included in the US government’s specifically designated national or SDN list under President Trump. Bensouda has previously been sanctioned by the Trump administration, which has accused the ICC of targeting Americans after being deemed an SDN by the US Treasury and has been grouped alongside terrorists and drug traffickers. “Bensouda, as a designated US ‘terrorist’, was viewed as a threat to US national security and foreign and economic policies and, despite being a former bank manager, her transactions financial and those dealing with it have been blocked by the US Treasury, ”noted Tolentino. “How can she, during her tenure, objectively conduct an investigation when some members of the international community considered her persona non grata for terrorist links?” he stressed. Right on time. Lawyer Larry Gadon, however, takes a different view of Bensouda’s last-minute publication of his findings. For Gadon, Bensouda’s ulterior motive was money, or the wages, salaries, allowances, travel allowances, entertainment expenses, and benefits and privileges that she was to receive, and this served as her driving force in the continuation of the case. “She must give the impression that she was working to justify permanently receiving her wages, salaries and other allowances from the ICC,” Gadon said. In turn, Gadon says the ICC must continue to pursue high-profile cases such as the Duterte case to justify its existence and the flow of donations in its vault. Gadon points out that the main plaintiff in the case against Duterte, lawyer Jude Sabio, has already withdrawn his complaint and has personally admitted that his affidavit he submitted to the ICC was nothing more than a fabricated statement and that all the accusations he raised were falsehoods. So what exactly was Bensouda’s basis for reaching such conclusions? Without any basis or complaint to fall back on, or with its terribly incredible credibility as Sabio’s affidavit, are we now to believe in the correctness of Bensouda’s conclusions? In a scene from the Star Wars movie, when Obi Wan Kenobi took young Anakin Skywalker under his wings, Grandmaster Yoda could be heard saying, “An apprentice forming an apprentice”, as Obi Wan Kenobi is not yet finished. his Jedi training. Regarding the ICC case against Duterte, this is a situation in which a suspect – Bensouda, as she was suspected of having ties to terrorists and drug traffickers by the US government , plus the fact that his motive is now in doubt, is investigating another suspect – Duterte, for alleged state-sponsored murders. What an irony.

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