Duterte slams ICC prosecutor’s plan to reopen Philippines drug war probe

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MANILA – The office of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday (June 25) that it was “exasperated” with International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan and his decision to reopen an inquiry into killings during the government’s drug operation.

Khan stated on Friday that a deferral of the ICC’s investigation sought by Manila was not necessary and that the investigation should resume as soon as feasible.

According to presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar, the Duterte administration has conducted “investigations of all deaths that have resulted from authorized narcotics enforcement operations,” and the ICC should allow the government’s efforts run their course.

Last September, ICC justices approved an investigation into the campaign that resulted in the deaths of thousands of accused drug peddlers. According to activists, many have been executed by law enforcement forces with the president’s implicit approval. The ICC stopped the inquiry in November at the request of Manila.

The government officially recognizes 6,252 deaths during the drug war, which spans through May 2022.

Duterte, whose six-year term expires on June 30, has supported the police, claiming that all of those slain were drug dealers who resisted capture. He has stated publicly that police officers may kill if they believe they are in danger, and that he will pardon any who are imprisoned.

Human Rights Watch’s senior international justice counsel, Maria Elena Vignoli, said Khan’s request to reopen the inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the drug war is a “booster shot for accountability.”

“The government has not been serious about justice for these crimes while the victims’ families grieve without redress and those responsible face no consequences,” Vignoli said in a statement.

Source: CNA News

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