The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) held in Brussels, Belgium on September 19 found Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump guilty of their fascist crimes against the Filipino people.
From September 18, the IPT heard 21 cases filed against the two presidents. Among these are cases of violation of socioeconomic, civil and political rights, and the right to self-determination.
The IPT is an international court composed of international organizations, lawyers and human rights defenders. According to Karapatan, the court hearing is part of the broadening resistance against the regime’s tyranny, fascism, militarism and US foreign invervention.
Contrary to the attempt of the Malacañang to declare the IPT proceedings as “sham” and mere “propaganda,” organizers of the IPT asserted and emphasized that the authority of all courts—either local or international—comes from the people.
Globally eminent lawyers and human rights defenders from the US, Netherlands, Iran, Italy and France serve as judges of the IPT. The IPT’s verdict will be submitted to the International Criminal Court, the European Parliament and the United Nations Human Rights Council as cases against the US-Duterte regime.
Among the cases heard are the brutal killing of more than 23,000 poor Filipinos under the guise of the regime’s “war against drugs” and the politically motivated killing of 160 peasant and national minority leaders; slapping of trumped-up charges against the leaders, activists, and government critics; and arbitrary arrests of more than 500 individuals merely because of their political stand.
The IPT also heard various cases of socioeconomic rights violations including the regime’s incessant implementation of anti-worker and anti-people policies.
Meanwhile, violations of the international humanitarian law and the right to self-determination include cases of attacks on 226 Lumad schools in Mindanao, airstrikes and mortar shelling of indigenous communities, and the continuous US political and military intervention in the country.
Among the court witnesses are Sultan Hamidullah Atar of Marawi City, who testified to the crimes perpetrated by the military when it besieged Marawi City in 2017, and Suara Bangsamoro Chairperson Jerome Succor Aba who was discriminated, tortured and illegally detained in the US last April. Rev. Ritchie Masegman of Rise Up for Life and for Rights also testified for the victims of Oplan Tokhang.
The US-Duterte regime was not the first puppet regime to have been found guilty by the IPT. In 1980, the same court sentenced the US-Marcos dictatorial regime guilty of gross and wholesale violation of the Filipino people’s human rights.