PRESS STATEMENT 18 September 2018

We, the spokespersons for the International Peoples’ Tribunal, take cognizance of the Complaints filed by the victims and experts on the various violations of the rights of the Filipino people perpetrated by the administrations of Presidents Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines and Donald John Trump of the United States of America.

Based on the Complaints, Presidents Duterte and Trump are being indicted for: gross violations of 1) civil and political rights; 2) economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR); and 3) national sovereignty, development, and International Humanitarian Law.

Consequently, the Tribunal delivered the summons to the Defendants, Presidents Duterte and Trump on September 10, 2018. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive any formal response to the summons.

Today, September 18, here in Brussels, Belgium, the proceedings of the Tribunal shall begin. The panel of Jurors — all experts and eminent individuals coming from different parts of the globe from different disciplines with proven competence, integrity, probity and objectivity, and experienced on issues on human rights, rights of peoples, and international humanitarian law — will hear testimonies and receive evidence from the witnesses for the prosecution and the defense. Barring any untoward incident, the Jurors shall deliberate over and deliver the verdict of the Tribunal in the afternoon of September 19.

Many of the prosecution witnesses have traveled from different parts of the Philippines to speak about either their personal knowledge or their expertise on the violations committed by both Presidents and their administrations. Some, meanwhile, have submitted video depositions because of their inability to travel to Belgium. The testimonies will be facilitated by highly capable Prosecutors.

We are well aware of the gravity of the cases and the urgent cry for justice from the victims, survivors and the entire Filipino people. Rest assured that the Tribunal will be fair and just, and will be partial only to the Truth.

For the Tribunal:

Jeanne Mirer
President, International Association of Democratic Lawyers | +13135152046

Peter Murphy
Chairperson, Global Council, International Coalition on Human Rights in the Philippines
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