The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is open to any investigation into the government’s anti-drug campaign. Still, it will abide by President Duterte’s order not to participate in the upcoming International Criminal Court (ICC) probe related to drug war killings.
Earlier, retired ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the international tribunal to launch a full investigation into the bloody drug war in the Philippines.
In his preliminary investigation, Bensouda said that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the anti-drug operations of the Duterte administration are committing crimes against humanity.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva stepped in and questioned Bensouda’s statement.
“Kahit sabihin na nating crimes against humanity, sabihin na natin EJK (extrajudicial killings). Ano ang detail nu’n?” he said.
The PDEA chief stressed that they coordinated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel to review the illegal drug campaign.
He also said that they share their information in their drug war records with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as requested.
Villanueva also reported that only 2.11% of the more than 289,000 arrested drug dealers died from July 2016 to April 30, 2021.
PDEA open to the ICC’s drug war probe
He added that 21,891 out of 42,045 barangays nationwide had been cleared due to their anti-drug campaign.
Meanwhile, although the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into the war on drugs, it is not seen as an obstacle by those who are promoting the case.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had earlier said that the ICC could not expect cooperation from the Philippines to preview the administration’s war on drugs.
Duterte also downplayed the evidence obtained by the ICC because they are only media reports that can be considered hearsay, said Roque.
But the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) denied that their complaints were based on rumors.
According to NUPL Secretary General Edre Olalia, they ensured there was enough evidence to stand the case.
He also said they would not dare to help the victims if they thought the testimonies were pointless.
He said the victims submitted seven sworn statements to the ICC, in addition to the statements of eyewitnesses.