EDITORIAL: A big mistake by Marcos
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has committed a number of mistakes in the first year of his presidency, but few can be considered bigger than his pronouncement over the weekend that he will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court.
The ICC is seeking to pursue its investigation of the extrajudicial killings that took place during the term of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.
Marcos uses the same justification as several other past and present government officials who insist that the Philippines has a fully functioning judicial system. As such, there is no need for any outside party to pass judgement on the former president along with his officials who made the killing of suspected drug addicts and users practically a government policy.
Worst of all, Marcos chooses to turn a blind eye to the tens of thousands of families who lost their loved ones to the brutality of the Duterte regime.
With his declaration, those families can never hope to find justice.
Yet Mr. Marcos still expects foreign investments in the billions of dollars to pour into the country.
Why in God’s name, we ask, would any major investor plunk money into the Philippines when countless Filipinos are deprived of true justice? If and when those investments run into legal problem, where can they turn to?
Certainly not a justice system that allows a former president to get away with mass murder.
There is an old saying that is apt at this point. Those who are not guilty have nothing to hide.
Last week, an ex-president also took a major step in making sure that Rodrigo Duterte is able to spend the remainder of his days free from arrest. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is asking the House of Representatives to take all possible measures to assure Duterte’s safety, and in so doing is saying to hell with the victims and the families of the former president’s extra-judicial killings.
Clearly, the powerful politicians are saying that they should be judged by a different set of rules from the ordinary Filipinos.
Proof if this is staring everyone in the face.
Consider that former first lady Imelda Marcos has been convicted for her blatant misuse of government funds, but has not spent even a single minute inside prison.
Consider that the incumbent president himself has also been convicted of failing to pay his taxes.
Consider that this incumbent president’s own special counsel, 99-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile, was allowed by the court to go scot-free, not only for his role in the multi-billion peso coco levy fund, but also for being party to the equally large-scale Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
There is no doubt that the Philippine judicial system is seriously damaged, that ordinary people can never find justice when they go against the rich and the powerful.
In refusing to allow the ICC to conduct an investigation, this Marcos regime is showing the world that an international court sanctioned by the United Nations is not allowed to give hope to Filipinos victimized by their own government.
This President Marcos shows he is as indifferent to the suffering of his people as past presidents Duterte, Macapagal-Arroyo, Erap Estrada and most of all his father and namesake, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, who declared martial law under false pretense.
Just ask Ponce-Enrile, who was also party to that brutal and illegitimate regime.