The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday questioned the basis of the report of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that cited a “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed under the Philippine government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
In a statement, the agency said the findings of the office of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda claiming that the campaign against illegal drugs of President Rodrigo Duterte involved acts of murder, torture and the infliction of serious physical injury and mental harm is “unfair, unjustifiable and one-sided”.
“PDEA remains skeptical on how the ICC came up with their findings solely on the basis of open-source information. Like all other well-founded reports, the ICC report should show proof and undergo the standard validation and vetting process before arriving at any firm conclusions,” it said.
The country’s prime anti-narcotics agency added that the ICC should have waited for the results of the formal investigation conducted by the Philippine government.
“The ICC should have waited for the release of the report of an inter-agency panel created by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the apparent drug-related killings, rather than issuing general statements that are yet to be proven without the aid of a formal and local investigation,” it added.
PDEA also expressed hope that the matter would not merit an open investigation of the tribunal.President Rodrigo Duterte, PDEA said, does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction over the country following its withdrawal from the Rome Statute that created the international tribunal.