Perito files petition in Calbayog City

BISHOP OF CATARMAN. After almost two decades, the diocese of Catarman has a new bishop in Nolly Buco, who was formerly assigned as the auxiliary bishop of Antipolo. Bishop Buco assumed the post in December last year who refused an elaborate ceremony on his assumption. Buco’s predecessor, Emmanuel Trance, resigned from his post due to ‘health reason.’(DIOCESE OF CATARMAN)

TACLOBAN CITY-A lawyer has filed a petition calling for the court to bar any personnel from the International Criminal Court of Justice (ICCJ) from entering the country, and if they are already in the country, should be prevented from doing any investigation regarding the bloody drug war of the Duterte administration.

Lawyer Fernando Perito filed his petition before the Office of Clerk of Court in Calbayog City, Samar on December 15, 2023, together with Joseph Forrosuelo, who was described to be an overseas Filipino worker with an address of Malabanan, Biñan, Laguna province.
The petition, it was learned, will be scheduled for a court raffle on Jan.8.

The 13-page petition seeks for a preliminary injunction barring all personnel, directors, and staff of the ICCJ from entering the country to conduct any investigation on alleged extrajudicial killings during the Duterte administration.

But this early, this petition was belittled by a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Leyte chapter, Alberto Hidalgo, for ‘lack of cause of action.’

“My prediction is this petition will be dismissed by the court for lack of cause of action or for want of legal standing to sue,” he said in a Facebook interview via private messenger on Thursday (Jan.4).

“What is his legal standing to file the action? Is he a proper party? Is he part of those who will be investigated by the ICC?” Hidalgo added.

He also doubts if Perito was given authority either by former President Duterte or Senator Ronaldo ‘Bato’ de la Rosa, among those primarily subjected of the ICCJ probe.

Perito, who is from Calbayog City, in his petition, claimed that considering that the Philippines has exited from the ICCJ in 2019, it ceased to have any jurisdiction to conduct any investigations, like that of the controversial drug war waged by the Duterte administration.

He also dismissed the allegations that during the six-year drug war, about 30,000 people were killed saying these were without any basis and just ‘exaggerated hyperboles.’

“The Republic of the Philippines is a sovereign country, its duly elected officers in the persons of President Rodrigo Duterte and its policemen are being sued for crimes which the ICCJ is making up stories…,” Perito said in his petition, a copy of which was obtained by the Leyte Samar Daily Express.

He added:” The so-called charges against Pres. Duterte of allegedly ordering or allowing execution of thousands of suspected drug offenders are just exaggerated hyperboles…and media hyped concocted by politicians and their minions who are pretending to be more popish than the pope.”

“If those ignorant personalities in the ICCJ can have a sense of reflection, they can perceive themselves as unwelcome usurpers of our justice system. They have no place here…,” Perito added.

He also lambasted what he called ‘human rights advocates’ whom he said were ‘more eager to expose the efforts of the most loved president who would do everything to save the Filipinos and the youths.’

“(And) with all our laws and rules, policies in order, are we to succumb to international pressure to ignore our own existing laws, rules, and procedure, simply because that international court is so powerful?” Perito said.

Perito, it was learned, has been involved in filing petitions in the past.

Among these include his petition before the Sandiganbayan seeking deposed former president, Joseph Estrada to stop from running for presidency during the 2010 elections and his petition to disbar former senator Leila de Lima, among the high-profile victims of the drug war of the Duterte administration.

The former senator was put in prison allegedly due to her connection to illegal drug activities but was freed by the courts after almost seven years of detention.