06/15/2021, 16.29
PHILIPPINES
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Duterte's rejects ICC probe into his 'War on drugs'

The Philippine president will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC prosecutor's office has called for an investigation into the killings carried during Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

 

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – President Rodrigo Duterte will "never cooperate" with an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the "war on drugs" he launched in 2016. The process is “legally erroneous,” said presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

Outgoing ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda yesterday asked judges at the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal to authorise an investigation into allegations that Philippine police engaged in unlawful killings.

According to official data, more than 6,000 people were killed in more than 200,000 anti-drug operations carried out after July 2016. According to human rights activists, the figure could be much higher.

President Duterte gave  security forces the green light to kill suspected drug traffickers if their life was at risk.

Many alleged criminals were placed on special "checklists". When they received a visit from police, they were often killed. In most cases, officers claimed to have fired in self-defence.

Judge Bensouda had opened a preliminary investigation in 2018, followed by Duterte’s decision to withdraw the Philippines from the ICC.

Now Philippine authorities claim that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines. However, the chief prosecutor countered saying that the Court can investigate crimes committed in the years when the country was a member.

In her statement, Ms Bensouda (who will be replaced tomorrow by British lawyer Karim Khan) noted that, based on available information, there is a solid basis to believe that Philippine police illegally killed thousands of people between July 2016 and March 2019.

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