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Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Philippines will not cooperate with the ICC

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The Philippine authorities refuse to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, and investigators of this body will not be admitted to the country, said president adviser Rodrigo Duterte. An investigation into possible crimes against humanity during the Philippine “war on drugs” has started in The Hague.

On September 15, 2021, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the First International Criminal Court accepted the Prosecutor’s request to initiate an investigation into crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed in the territory of the Philippines in the period from November 1, 2011 to March 16, 2019 in the context of the so-called war on drugs campaign “- informs on its website, the ICC in The Hague.


President Salvador Panelo’s chief legal adviser told DZBB radio station on Thursday that International Criminal Court investigators would not be allowed into the country to conduct an investigation, which began Wednesday in The Hague. – The position of the president has not changed. The International Criminal Court was initially inclined to pursue this case in violation of our constitution, and even in violation of its own Rome Statute, said Panelo.

The protest of the families of the victims of the drug war. Photo from June 30th Reuters

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Over 6,000 victims

From the time Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 until the end of April this year, Filipino security forces have killed 6,117 drug dealers in covert operations, according to data from the Philippine government.

Human rights groups say authorities executed suspects of drug trafficking at the scene of their capture without trial, and police say “drug dealers brutally defended themselves.”

204 statements from the victims

The Pre-Trial Chamber I, composed of the chairman, Judge Péter Kovács, Judge Reine Adélaide Sophie Alapini-Gansou and Judge María del Socorro Flores Liera, examined the prosecutor’s application and the supporting material. The Chamber also considered 204 statements of the victims, informs the ICC.

The Chamber stressed that based on the facts which are known at this stage and are subject to appropriate investigation and further analysis, the so-called drug war campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation and the killings committed cannot be considered as legitimate. incidents by law. Rather, it appears from the available materials that it was a wide-ranging and systematic attack on the civilian population.

Families of victims of the war on drugs in the streets of Manila. Photo from June 30th Reuters

The Court retains its jurisdiction

The Philippines, which has been party to the Rome Statute since November 1, 2011, submitted written notification of its withdrawal on March 17, 2018. Although the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Statute took effect on March 17, 2019, the Court retains jurisdiction over alleged offenses that occurred in the territory of the Philippines when they were a State Party from November 1, 2011 to March 16, 2019. inclusive.

The investigation is limited to conclusions from the period when the Philippines was a State Party to the Statute and was bound by its provisions, explained the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Under the slogan of fighting drugs and corruption

Duterte, 76, who won the presidency thanks to the slogans of fighting drugs and corruption, ends his six-year term in June 2022. However, he announced that he plans to run for the vice-president. The leader in his earlier state of the state speech defended a campaign in which police killed more than 6,100 suspected drug dealers in special operations, saying it reduced crime and improved peace and order in the country, the Reuters agency recalled.

Human rights groups accuse Duterte of inciting deadly violence and claim that police en masse killed unarmed drug suspects and staged crime scenes.

Main photo source: Reuters

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