Gov’t hits at latest ICC request to reopen probe on Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign

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A TOP government official hits back at the latest request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to reopen the probe into killings and other suspected abuses of human rights allegedly committed by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in his massive crackdown on anti-illegal drugs.

Presidential Communications Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Martin Andanar was pointing to the recent request of ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan to reopen the investigation into the alleged killings.

Andanar emphasized that amid the government’s hugely successful anti-illegal drug campaign that saw a massive dip in crime incidents attributed to drug abuse, he said the Duterte administration has undertaken, through the Department of Justice, together with the Philippine National Police, among others, investigations of all deaths that have arisen from lawful drug enforcement operations.

He said that this shows transparency and the efforts to address alleged flaws in the campaign are in fact supported by the United Nations in its three-year technical cooperation program with the Philippines known as the Joint Program on Human Rights that took effect in July last year.

Let these efforts of the Philippine government run their course; after all, reciprocity is a key principle in the methods of work of the ICC. To veer away from this principle will only reveal the politicization that has infiltrated the ICC’s ranks,” Andanar explained.

Furthermore, Andanar said it is also interesting that the ICC mentions the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) report as basis for its call for intervention.

Let it be clarified that while the CHR has recommended in said report that relevant international organizations continue monitoring the human rights situation in the country, in no part of its report did it even imply the need for direct external investigation. Surely, the CHR knows the implications of such intervention on State sovereignty, and we expect the ICC, especially Mr. Khan, to know that as well,” he added.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Friday he would seek to reopen an investigation into killings and other suspected rights abuses, which the court suspended in November of last year at the request of the Philippine government.

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