Bereaved families of drug war victims find hope in ICC report

The families of those who died in President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs found hope in the recent International Criminal Court (), which said it believes that “” were committed in the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

66-year-old Llore Benedicto Pasco has been seeking justice for three years for her two .

Crisanto and Juan Carlos Lozano were killed at the Arboretum in City in May 2017, along with another man.

They are said to robbers who fought the police. The siblings were shot, but Pasco doubted it.

“Yung nakita nila dun, yung anak kong nakahawak ng .38, kaliwete yun pero nasa kanan yung baril,” she said.

For experts, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s statement is a big deal because it means that the investigation moves forward.

“It’s like saying there’s probable cause for a against humanity in the Philippines that’s why we can go now to the next phase, which is the preliminary investigation,” said Gilbert Andres of group Centerlaw.

Bereaved families of drug war victims find hope in ICC report

“Meron na po silang natingnan at tinitingnang grupo ng kaso… May nakita talaga silang maaaring imbestigahan ng ICC,” said Romel Bagares from the same group.

The ICC prosecutor aims to decide in the next 6 months whether the ICC will continue to investigate the killings related to the war on drugs in the Philippines and whether Duterte has anything to do with it.

However, the Palace just shrugged ICC’s report off.

“Hindi po natin kinikilala ang hurisdiksyon ng ICC, at desisyon mismo ng ICC… Sayang lang ang pera at oras,” said Presidential Spokesman Harry .

According to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the report was unfair, unacceptable, and based only on one side.

PDEA wonders how it came up with findings based solely on open-source information.

However, this is a big deal for Pasco, who continues to seek justice for her children.

Besides being active in overseas campaigns, Pasco will also participate with Rise Up group and other groups such as Rights and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in an international independent investigation led by lawyers and faith-based groups in the US, Canada, and Australia.