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Rights Group Opposes Philippines Request to prevent ICC Probe on Dutertes Drug War Killings

There is absolutely no evidence showing that the Philippines government is investigating the killings committed in the drug war campaign led by former President Rodrigo Duterte, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

Carlos Conde, an HRW researcher in the Philippines, said the group has been monitoring the problem since November and found no compelling evidence that the federal government was seriously investigating or prosecuting those responsible.

Actually, the killings are continuing and impunity for cops among others implicated in these abuses by all accounts remains intact, Conde said in a statement.

Condes remarks came in reaction to the Philippine governments request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) never to resume its investigations into Dutertes drug war, claiming the tribunal does not have any jurisdiction.

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra argued that the cases already are being investigated and prosecuted by the correct agencies and that state-level investigative proceedings should take precedence under international law principles.

The alleged murder incidents that happened through the relevant period usually do not constitute crimes against humanity, due to the fact said incidents usually do not qualify being an attack contrary to the civilian population, Guevarra said.

Furthermore, the said occurrences weren’t in furtherance of circumstances or organizational policy to commit such attack, he added, in accordance with a state-run news agency.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters hold banners throughout a protest against President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines, on Dec. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Duterte was elected in 2016 on a promise to eliminate illegal drugs in the Philippines. HRW claimed the anti-drug campaign led to the deaths of over 12,000 Filipinos, with the authorities being in charge of 2,555 of the deaths.

His daughter, Sara Duterte, was sworn in because the countrys vice president in June. She was the running mate of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the Philippines late dictator, in the May election. Marcos Jr. was elected as president.

Amnesty International also known as on the ICC to resume its investigations, saying that domestic-level investigations initiated by the Philippines government have already been woefully inadequate and wholly without credibility.

Philippines Rules Out Rejoining ICC

Marcos Jr. has previously eliminated the chance of rejoining the ICC, insisting that there have been sufficient domestic-level investigations into Dutertes drug war.

What we have been saying could it be has already been being investigated here, and its own ongoing, why would there be considered a dependence on it? the president said. The Philippines does not have any intention of rejoining the ICC.

The Philippines officially withdrew from the ICC on March 17, 2019, following the then-ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda began preliminary investigations into Dutertes drug war for suspected human rights abuses.

Regardless of the countrys withdrawal,ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said this past year that the ICC retains jurisdiction over alleged crimes that occurred as the Philippines was a celebration to the court from Nov. 1, 2011, to March 16, 2019.

Khan urgedthe reopening of investigations in to the case, citing the governments failure to provide any documentation that the investigations were ongoing, in addition to information regarding concrete investigations or prosecution actions.

The ICC probe wassuspendedin November 2021 following the Philippine government requested a deferral and pledged to research the alleged abuses.

Aldgra Fredly

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Aldgra Fredly is really a freelance writer located in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.

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