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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque engages in legal gymnastics to arrive at a self-serving conclusion that the ruling of the Supreme Court ensnaring President Rodrigo Duterte under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an obiter dictum or an aside commentary. 

The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court upholding the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over President Rodrigo Duterte is an added luster to judicial independence.

The high court rejected Duterte's repeated posturing that the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute on March 16, 2018 at his sole behest deprives the ICC of its jurisdiction over him and his men for alleged crimes against humanity and other atrocities due to his brutal war on drugs.

Before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2021, it may be appropriate to review the valedictory SONAs of the past presidents after the EDSA people power revolution, except for President Joseph Estrada’s because he did not finish his term.

Considering that only the President is immune from lawsuits, a legal verity which President Rodrigo Duterte fully knows, then his pretext of running for vice president to enjoy “immunity”, spills the beans on his real intention to become successor-president the moment the office of the elected president in 2022 is vacated by design or fortuitous event.