Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Wednesday that it will open a probe into alleged crimes against humanity in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war on drugs.”

(Photo Courtesy: Press Reader)

From the Palace, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo slammed the “blatant and brazen” attempt of the ICC to meddle in the Philippines’ domestic affairs, particularly its handling of the rampant illegal drug trade in the country.

“Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court granted the Prosecutor’s request to commence an investigation in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 November 2011 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign,” the ICC said in a statement.

The Chamber said the so-called “war on drugs” campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation and the killings neither as legitimate nor as mere excesses in an otherwise legitimate operation.

The request to investigate the case against Duterte was filed on June 14 by former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

The war on drugs of Duterte’s government was launched soon after he took office in June 2016.

In 2018, Duterte announced the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which took effect in March 2019.

Since then, the president has repeatedly said that he would not cooperate in the ICC investigation, claiming that the court has no jurisdiction in the Philippines as the Southeast Asian nation has withdrawn from its membership.

From the Palace, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo slammed the “blatant and brazen” attempt of the ICC to meddle in the Philippines’ domestic affairs, particularly its handling of the rampant illegal drug trade in the country.

In a press statement on Thursday, Panelo maintained that the ICC has no and never had jurisdiction over the Philippines and its citizens.

“Our position concerning the proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains. The foreign institution has no — as it never had — jurisdiction over the affairs of the Republic of the Philippines and its people,” he said.

Hence, the ICC’s latest move “neither bothers nor troubles the President and his administration,” Panelo said.

Leave a Reply