BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – “If I rot in prison, so be it.”
National media quoted former President Rodrigo Duterte who said he was ready to rot in prison should the International Criminal Court prove that he and his administration committed human rights violations when it launched and implemented its war on drugs.
Last 23 January 2023 , the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I had granted the request of the Office of the Prosecutor authorizing it to resume the investigation on the war on drugs in the Philippines.
The Philippine government in November 2021 had sought the deferment of the probe saying that it had started its own investigation on those involved in the case.
However, the ICC, in its request to resume investigations last January 2022, said that after reviewing the reports, it had not seen any indication that an investigation had been done.
The ICC said the “investigation carried out by the GovPH… does not sufficiently mirror the investigation to be conducted by the
The ICC added the Philippines made “no reference at all to any investigation into crimes committed before July 2016, nor to any investigation into crimes other than murder—and, even
then, only murders allegedly carried out in police operations, as opposed to murders allegedly
carried out in other relevant circumstances”.
It concluded that the Philippine government does not appear to be investigating any other type of crimes that are usually classified as human rights violations in this particular situation, such as torture and unlawful imprisonment.
The Human Rights Watch said the Philippine government has appealed the ICC decision to resume investigation, which covers alleged crimes committed from November 2011 to June 2016.
This includes reports of including extrajudicial killings in Davao City while former President Rodrigo Duterte was its mayor as well as in other parts the country during his presidency up until 16 March 2019, a day before the Philippines withdrew from the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, took effect.