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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Makabayan bloc resolution: Let ICC probe Duterte

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THE House Makabayan bloc has filed a resolution urging the Philippine government to cooperate with the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs.

House Deputy Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel filed House Resolution 1393 last Tuesday after former president Rodrigo Duterte reportedly publicly admitted that he used intelligence funds to conduct extrajudicial killings (EJK) on his constituents in Davao City.

“With former President Rodrigo Duterte’s televised admission of ordering extrajudicial killings and financing them with his confidential and intelligence funds, it is imperative that we allow the ICC to investigate his crimes,” said Castro.

“We urge the House leadership to support and co-author this resolution to show that we do not tolerate EJKs and that we are working for justice to be served to his victims and their families,” added Castro.

For her part, Brosas called on the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to let the ICC probe the bloody drug war of the Duterte administration, as the former president recently admitted to using intelligence funds as Davao City mayor to finance EJKs.

“This admission by Duterte himself serves as strong evidence against him and should prompt the Marcos administration to allow the ICC to investigate the matter under the principle of complementarity,” Brosas said.

“There was no genuine recourse against the killings in Davao City while he was mayor. As a member state of the ICC at the time these killings occurred, the Marcos administration should allow ICC investigators to enter the country,” Brosas added.

The principle of complementarity, as outlined in the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, means that the ICC can only exercise its jurisdiction when national legal systems fail to effectively investigate and prosecute international crimes.

“It is crucial that President Marcos take this opportunity to ensure accountability for the extrajudicial killings spearheaded by former president Duterte himself,” she said.

“We call on the government to cooperate fully with the ICC and allow a thorough investigation into these grave human rights violations,” she added.

In March 2018, Duterte ordered the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute after the ICC announced that it would start a preliminary examination of the complaint against him. However, it does not mean that the international court lost jurisdiction on the case filed before such withdrawal.

On July 21, President Marcos said his administration would end further engagement with the ICC after it rejected the Philippine government’s appeal to stop the ICC prosecutor’s investigation of crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Duterte in the drug war.

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