By Reni M. Valenzuela
“Truth is self-evident; non-violence is its maturest fruit.” – Mahatma Gandhi
In 2021, the International Criminal Court (ICC) suspended its investigations of the country’s deadly drug war owing to our government’s promise to launch its own probe. However, given the dismal “developments” of the said promised probe two years after, the ICC has changed course as it has recently made an announcement that it was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the court’s investigations.”
Now comes the puzzlement: Our officials got irked by the news. They called “insulting” the ICC’s decision to continue its investigations into the country’s drug war – as though our justice system is working perfectly or fairly and equitably, free from prejudice, whitewashing, manipulation, influence-peddling, political pressure/connection, corruption and all sorts “fraternity” type of myopic mindset for the authorities concerned. Need I say more?
Being concerned about rectifying what’s wrong in societies, much less if it involves bringing justice to victims of horrors and heinousness, is never an insult. ICC’s mandate is not to subvert or undermine a sovereign country’s justice system, but to complement the judicial work/process and ensure that justice indeed is rendered for the victims – to serve a larger world.
This is not a case of the ICC “overtaking our country,” neither is it about “respect” or the ICC trampling on our sovereignty as claimed by our officials. Hubris. The issue is bringing justice to the countless deaths of our countrymen between 7,000 (government figure) and 30,000 (from human rights groups) due to EJK (extrajudicial killing). By the way, Sir, will you be talking the same if the same fate happened to your son who was caught receiving a parcel of marijuana worth over a million pesos?
It is not for a pernicious, prejudicious purpose that Jesus Crispin Catibayan Remulla is our Secretary of Justice, and not of Injustice. Stand straight, Sir, and so allow us an opportunity to salute you.
At the National Museum of the African-American History in Washington DC, there hangs prominently a quote from Martin Luther King: “We are determined to work and fight until justice rains down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” These gallant words are drawn from and inspired by the Old Testament admonition of the prophet Amos at a time when wickedness and criminality among his own people was at its lowest point.
Amos 5:24 is a lament and call to repentance – for us too, Filipinos.