The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would reopen an inquiry into the thousands-dead Philippine “war on drugs.”
The government’s attempts to look into suspected abuses were deemed insufficient by the ICC.
At the request of the Philippine government, who stated that local police were looking into at least 52 cases out of the thousands of people killed in the drug war, the court postponed the inquiry in November 2021.
The court stated in a statement that it was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would allow a postponement of the court’s investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle” after carefully examining the information given by the Philippines.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) reported that it had determined that “the numerous domestic initiatives and processes, viewed collectively, do not amount to palpable, concrete, and progressive investigative steps in a fashion that would appropriately match the court’s inquiry.”
The move was applauded on Friday by Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, who noted that the government was not making a sincere attempt and that only “the ICC offers a road ahead to fill the accountability vacuum.”
“The only credible path to justice for the victims and their families of former President Rodrigo Duterte‘s brutal ‘war on drugs’ is the ICC inquiry in the Philippines,” he stated.
After being elected president in 2016 on an anti-crime platform, Mr. Duterte started the drug war.
According to the police, almost 6,000 individuals were killed under Mr. Duterte’s presidency in operations against illegal drugs. Human rights organizations estimate that the actual death toll may be three times higher.