• ‘Int’l court can try PNoy’

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    Miriam: President can face trial for massacre of SAF commandos

    SMALL SACRIFICE FOR SAF HEROES Pampanga farmers led by former Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo light 44 candles after shaving their heads in front of the national police headquarters in Quezon City as a sign of mourning for the SAF commandos who lost their lives in Maguindanao. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    SMALL SACRIFICE FOR SAF HEROES Pampanga farmers led by former Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo light 44 candles after shaving their heads in front of the national police headquarters in Quezon City as a sign of mourning for the SAF commandos who lost their lives in Maguindanao. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd may be held criminally liable for the death of 44 members of the Special Action Force (SAF) under the doctrine of command responsibility and he can be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Sen. Miriam Santiago said on Monday.

    According to Santiago, the massacre of the SAF commandos by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) makes the military commander and other high-ranking officials responsible for war crimes under the charter of the ICC, which hears cases against heads of state and top-ranking military commanders.

    Since Aquino is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), complaints can be filed against him by anyone before the ICC in connection with the killing of police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, last week.

    “Anyone who thinks that President Aquino should assume command responsibility as Commander-in-Chief of the military and AFP may file a compliant in the ICC,” Santiago said.

    She noted that any person or non-government organization (NGO) with an active legitimate interest in the outcome of the case can file the complaint against the President and other military and police officials involved in the failed operation to arrest two international terrorists.

    “It is not enough to tell them (relatives of the victims) that they (44 SAF men) died for their country. They are entitled to their full human rights,” Santiago noted.

    This means that all those who were involved in the operation that went awry can be charged with violation of humanitarian laws and war crimes.

    “The SAF massacre is properly called a ‘non-international armed conflict.’ We make this distinction, because the relationship of the Philippine government with a non-state actor like the MILF is different from the relationship of our government with other states. The rule is to deny legitimacy to rebels, terrorists or other armed groups,” the senator explained.

    She said the legality of the non-international armed conflict in Mamasapano falls under three main international rules: Common Article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts; the Geneva Conventions Additional Protocol 2; and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

    Santiago in particular cited the Rome Statute, which contains a provision on war crimes committed in non-international armed conflict.

    Article 8, para. 2, sub-para. (f) of the Rome Statute provides: “It applies to armed conflicts that take place in the territory of a state when there is protracted armed conflict by the governmental authorities and organized armed groups.”

    The senator also explained that under the ICC Rome Charter, the military commander or person is criminally liable where two factors are present: the commander either knew or should have known that his forces were about to commit such crimes and the military commander or person failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to suppress the commission of the crime.

    President Aquino, Santiago said, can be charged and tried by the ICC because it already tried many heads of state in the past.

    The senator was elected judge of the ICC in 2011 but, last year, she relinquished the post she never assumed for health reasons.

    Santiago said if the United States were somehow involved in the Mamasapano clash, it could further complicate the situation because it would provide the MILF justification to seek intervention from their allied foreign states.

    She also noted that any intervention by another state or states in the SAF operation is prohibited by international law.

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    10 Comments

    1. Let Pnoy honestly make a resolution. He will tell-all.Let the milf cleanse its own backyard. Show proof u dont coddle terrorists.Wage an all-out war aginst biff and other lawless elements. politicians should not complicate.

    2. Deles and Ferrer should be arrested for treason they soldout the government to the enemy of the state the MILF on the peacetalk.

    3. muriel magtanggol on

      That’s the best thing that can happen to us, Filipinos-together with the familes of our murdered policemen. We all need justice. We do not deserve a leader who is approval -driven and willing to put his men’s life in danger for the sake of his own glory! History tells us that we have a better chance of getting justice outside our shores.

    4. Ruben V. Calip on

      So the Left and the MILF are together in making up the story that the US is involved in the PNP-SAF massacre so the MILF can make it an international issue and get their patrons abroad to complicate the case and absolve the MILF.
      In the end the Left is pro-Aquino after all.

    5. fred villaragoisa on

      The senator also explained that under the ICC Rome Charter, the military commander or person is criminally liable where two factors are present: the commander either knew or should have known that his forces were about to commit such crimes and the military commander or person failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures to suppress the commission of the crime.

      Can anyone make a decision that what happened was a crime? Your policemen followed the court order, serving a warrant of arrest, why do you want to blame your president when things go wrong. Madam Santiago you can go ahead and show the world how smart you are.

    6. Sen Santiago pointed out in ICC Rome Charter “that commander knew that his forces are about to commit such crime and the military commander or the person failed to take all necessary measures suppress such a commission of the crime.

      On the other hand the SAF did not go there to commit a crime, they are there to serve warrant of arrest to 2 international terrorist..and hell loose it end in a massacre

      It appears that SAF Forces are there to commit a massacre..base on the term of ”
      military personnel to commit a crime” they are the one being massacred, where is the analogy that the government commit the crime.

      Why not base the crime commited by the rebel group? As if once the government do the act of suppressing the terorism we are thrown by the book ..its againts humanity,

      Santiago base her conclusion on Serbian conflict , where the head of state commits a henious crime against the people in pretext of “cleansing”

      Hamas group still wages war on Israel, where indisciminate firing of missles lands on population..is there anybody being tried? Was Head of state of Israel being brough to trial?..we have our means of ending these conflict, by anhilating the terrorist or them to lay down their arm and do the military way for a handful of these terrorist.

      Don’t throw the book on the president..

    7. On January 5, I posted the following comment which recent developments seem to confirm:

      Chubby says:
      January 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      It bewilders me even now that PNoy ever got elected President of this country. And it bewilders me even more that her family, more especially her sisters, allowed him, or did not stop him from accepting, to run for President of this country. I do not have to cite the reasons for this bewilderment but the comment of one of his sisters soon after he got elected and assumed office should have been a give-away. She said, “Noynoy has finally come to his own”. What did that mean? It meant that they knew the personal problems of Noynoy and were wary if he became president of how he might perform. In essence it was an admission that their brother was not qualified and ought not to be President, still they took the risk of having him there despite their full knowledge of his inadequacies, at the expense of the country. Now poor Noy has to suffer the consequences of their imprudence, if not recklessness, I do not doubt his personal honesty and sincerity but the incompetence and misplaced loyalties have him easy prey to the vultures around him. And together with his manifest vindictiveness which immediately characterized his assumption into office and the decisions he makes, have spelled disaster after disaster for this country. We hope that this is not the wrath of God upon an unwise people.

    8. sonny dela cruz on

      That is not what Drillon is saying, it means you don’t know about law on command responsibility. He knows more of International law than you(Miriam). Maybe he is laughing at you and telling himself you better go back to school and learn more about law.