Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ victims rejoiced at possible ICC probe

Some who lost their in the war on drugs were heartened by the news that their communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) is progressing.

Normita Lopez is still dreaming of her son Djastin, 4 years after he was killed.

“Nasa jeep kami, sumakay kami ng isa kong anak. Ako, tapos siya kasunod namin. Umakap siya sa akin. Sabi niya, ‘Ma, thank you ha. Kasi hindi mo ako pinababayaan. Kahit wala na ako, hindi mo ako pinababayaan. Mahal na mahal kita, Ma’,” Djastin allegedly said in the dream.

The 25 -year -old Djastin was killed in Tondo, Manila, in May 2017. Djastin allegedly resisted, but the two reports say differently.

On Monday, then-ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that his office had asked him to fully investigate the Philippines’ killings after a three-and-a-half-year preliminary examination.

This is based on the ICC prosecutor’s analysis of media reports, communications, and other information gathered by his office.

Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ victims rejoiced at possible ICC probe

But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is skeptical of the outcome of the investigation because most of Bensouda’s evidence comes from media reports that can be considered hearsay or just hearsay in court.

“I counted, and about 85 percent of the sources cited by the prosecutor in this preliminary examination report came from media… You know that media sources are considered hearsay. You need to present people with actual personal knowledge of events, particularly criminal liability, which is proof beyond reasonable doubt,” said Roque.

Roque further stressed that the ICC could not expect cooperation from the Philippines, which Amnesty International secretary-general and former UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard is not worried about.

“Considering that so far, the government is refusing to cooperate, the investigation is gonna take place outside the Philippines, so it’s not gonna be a straightforward investigation. The ICC has a lot of experience doing so, so I’m not worried about that,” he said.

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