ICC finds ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in Duterte’s drug war

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has found a reasonable basis for believing that “crimes against humanity” were committed in the bloody anti-drug war of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A report released by the ICC on Tuesday said they were looking into “violations” such as extrajudicial killings (EJK) committed against suspected drug pushers and users since July 1, 2016.

“The Office is satisfied that information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that the crimes against humanity of murder (Article 7(1)(a)), torture (article 7(1)(f)) and the infliction of serious physical injury and mental harm as other inhumane Acts (article 7(1)(k)) were committed on the territory of the Philippines between at least 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019, in connection to the WoD campaign launched throughout the country,” ICC said on its report.

According to official data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) released by Realnumbersph last November, the government has killed 5,942 in anti-drug operations. However, there are other EJKs – or murders committed outside the rule of law.

In February 2018, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination in this regard after studying some communications and reports documenting alleged crimes.

In March 2018, the Philippine government sent a letter to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC.

ICC finds ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in Duterte’s drug war

“In accordance with article 127, the withdrawal took effect on 17 March 2019. The Court retains jurisdiction over alleged crimes that have occurred on the territory of the Philippines during the period when it was a State Party to the Statute, namely from 1 November 2011 up to and including 16 March 2019,” said ICC.

“Furthermore, the exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction (i.e. the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed up to and including 16 March 2019) is not subject to any time limit.”

The ICC was formed to investigate, and sometimes, to prosecute individuals accused of the worst crimes of concern in the international community, such as: “genocide,” “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “crime of aggression.”

According to the ICC, thousands of murders have been committed by unidentified assailants, sometimes called “vigilantes.” It often happens in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, Calabarzon, etc.

An authorization request is set to be made to formally open an investigation into the Philippine situation in the “first half of 2021.”