The Hague, Sep 15 (EFE).- The International Criminal Court on Wednesday gave the green light to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed during the crackdown on illegal narcotics waged by the Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte.
A pre-trial panel of three judges concluded “there is a reasonable basis” to approve a request made by the court prosecutor in mid-June.
There are indications that crimes against humanity have been committed in the Philippines and “potential cases which would likely arise from an investigation into the situation would be both admissible and sufficiently grave to justify further action by the Court”.
The 41-page decision describes many police raids with numerous fatalities that could be part of a “state policy” as “there is a clear link between the killings and the government’s formal anti-drug campaign.”
The Hague-based court’s jurisdictions will be limited to incidents that occurred until 16 March 2019, when the Philippines withdrew from the ICC to protest against a preliminary probe in 2018.
The ICC’s investigators are unlikely to enter the country in the short term to collect evidence as the Duterte government has said it would block their entry.
“If there are murders, I say it’s me. You can hold me responsible for any death from the war on drugs,” Duterte said last year in a televised speech. EFE