Columnist’s blog entry on Sara Duterte ‘nonsensical’

Malacañang on Monday tagged the blog entry of a columnist about Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Z. Duterte as “nonsensical” but at the same time said it respects her freedom of expression.

pres duterte sara

Ellen Tordesillas’ in her blog entry, “Pres. Sara in 2022 is Duterte’s insurance from ICC arrest when he is out Malacañang” published on her website, said that Carpio succeeding the presidency would allow President Rodrigo R. Duterte to escape possible arrest from extrajudicial killings and his unexplained wealth.

Panelo called her blog entry an example of “black propaganda” since she regularly comes up with entries that destroy the President’s reputation.

“It is a no brainer that a biased journalist or columnist like Ms. Tordesillas would regularly come up with conjectures inimical to the President. That is what we call black propaganda,” Panelo said.

“There is no need to revise the Constitution to allow Duterte to continue being in power after 2022. Sara succeeding him in Malacañang will assure Duterte that the International Criminal Court won’t be allowed in the country to arrest him when the case progresses to that stage. He would not have to answer for the extrajudicial killings attributed to him,” Tordesillas wrote.

“Sara as the next president will also continue to clamp down on the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Ombudsman so the case of Duterte’s unexplained wealth would remain uninvestigated,” she added.

Panelo said Tordesillas’ blog entry made no sense since the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over Duterte.

“The opinion of Ms. Tordesillas, is nonsensical. The ICC has no jurisdiction over PRRD, and for that matter any Filipino citizen,” Panelo said in a statement.

He further described Tordesillas as “a vocal sympathizer of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV” since they were both critics of the President.

“It is no hidden fact that Ms. Tordesillas as a columnist is a vocal sympathizer of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and the Magdalo cause and staunch critic of the President and his administration,” Panelo said.

Despite her blog entry, Panelo said the President has no intention of filing any libel case against Tordesillas as he has never done so in the past.

“The President respects freedom of expression. His record of not filing any libel case against any member of the media in his more than 40 years as a public servant is res ipsa loquitur (the thing speaks for itself),” he said.

In February 2018, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor announced that it would begin preliminary examination on the crimes against humanity linked to the administration’s drug war.

The following month, Duterte withdrew the Philippines’ ratification of the Rome Statute, a United Nations (UN) treaty creating the ICC.

Duterte is currently facing two communications on crimes against humanity before the ICC — one filed by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) in 2018 and another filed by lawyer Jude Sabio. Trillanes and Rep. Gary Alejano filed a supplemental complaint to Sabio’s case in 2017.

Duterte has repeatedly said that the ICC has “no jurisdiction” over him as the treaty is “not effective or enforceable in the Philippines” and local courts are still willing and able to exercise jurisdiction over him. (PNA)

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