The Hague, Jun 14 (EFE).- The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor on Monday requested authorization to open an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody crackdown on illegal drugs.
Thousands of people were killed in Duterte’s so-called War on Drugs campaign from 2016 until 2019.
“The available information indicates that members of the Philippine National Police, and others acting in concert with them, have unlawfully killed between several thousand and tens of thousands of civilians during that time,” Fatou Bensouda said in a statement.
The Asian country witnessed “extrajudicial executions” that “appear to have been committed pursuant to an official State policy of the Philippine government,” according to the 57-page request.
ICC had opened a preliminary probe into the Philippines in March 2018, prompting the Asian country to withdraw from the organization on 16 March 2019.
“The Court retains jurisdiction over crimes that are alleged to have occurred on the territory of that State during the period when it was a State Party to the Rome Statute,” Bensouda added.
Should the request be accepted by a panel of three judges, the prosecutor will be allowed to gather additional evidence, contact potential witnesses and demand arrest warrants to be issued.
The investigators, however, cannot enter the country unless they are granted permission by the Philippine government. EFE