Days after the International Criminal Court halted its probe into crimes against humanity in the Philippines in connection with President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, including the reported killings in Davao City during his term as mayor, human rights groups have called on the international body to resume its course of its investigation.
Human rights groups, including Karapatan and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, have stressed that the government has no clear commitment to serve justice to thousands killed during the drug war, they said in a joint statement to ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.
METRO MANILA, Philippines — According to the groups, the review being done by the Department of Justice only covered a small number of cases. With only one criminal conviction out of 6,000 fatalities, the government continues to refuse to work with the Commission on Human Rights, said the groups.
They said, “relatives of victims remain fearful of reprisals should they cooperate with independent investigations.”
“What we see is a government that has used domestic mechanisms only to shield perpetrators from international accountability,” they told Mr Khan in the letter.
Malacañan said, however, it still had to decide whether it would respond to ICC’s request to provide “substantiating information” on the investigations being done by the government into the allegations against Duterte.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles reiterated that the government might communicate with Mr Khan without waiving its stand that the tribunal no longer has jurisdiction over the Philippines.
“Again, while we do not waive our position that the ICC lacks jurisdiction to probe our campaign against illegal drugs, this does not preclude the Duterte administration from communicating with the ICC. (RA/Headline PH)