MANILA, Philippines — Petitioners against President Rodrigo Duterte will ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reconsider its decision to suspend the investigation on the administration’s war on drugs campaign.
On November 10, Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Eduardo Malaya wrote to ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to suspend the investigation, reminding the court that the Philippines has the primary responsibility and right to conduct an investigation and, eventually, prosecute all cases inside its jurisdiction.
Malaya also underscored that the country’s justice system is working.
National Union of Peoples Lawyers Chairman Atty. Neri Colmenares, however, said that the government is not serious in its efforts to investigate drug war-related killings in the country.
“There is no genuine investigation, prosecution in the Philippines at ipo-prove namin na hindi siya genuine investigation doon sa haba ng pahahon ng delay pangalawa kokonti ang imbestigahan, pangatlo si Duterte hindi iniimbestigahan at kinakasuhan,” Colmenares said.
Colmenares said the government’s anti-illegal drug operations left thousands dead after they allegedly fought against authorities.
“Kasi ang admitted na patay na dito sa Pilipinas ay 7,000 at least 7,000. So, ang sabi nga ng mga human rights groups mga 20,000 pero sige na kahit 7,000 lang napakaliit ng 52 na inimbestigahan mo para sabihin na seryosong inimbestigahan,” Colmenares insisted.
Colmenares is one of the legal counsels of the petitioners in the complaints filed before the ICC against Duterte.
He said they will send to the ICC their pleadings and will ask the court to immediately lift the suspension of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also urged the families of the victims who were allegedly slain during the government’s operations to directly file complaints before the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ also promised to provide legal assistance to the victims through the Public Attorneys Office and the Witness Protection Program. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)