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ICC prosecutor requests investigation on Duterte’s war on drugs

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested judicial authorization to conduct its investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte's crimes against humanity case involving the Philippines’ war on drugs.

According to the 57-page document made by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, it indicated that there is evidence to suggest that political actors have slain thousands of civilians in the fight against illegal substances, based on the material acquired by her office last Monday, June 14.

She stated that the evidence implies that vigilante-style killings were carried out by police officers or other private individuals paid by authorities, with a civilian death toll ranging from 12,000 to 30,000.

Bensouda explained that she made the formal request because she wanted to finish all of the cases that were under preliminary inquiry during her mandate. Moreover, she emphasized in her statement that her office does not hold a stance on the regime's anti-drug initiatives, noting that she was solely acting in accordance with her Rome Statute duty.

If the pre-trial chamber (PTC) approves, the Duterte administration will be subjected to increased international legal monitoring, but the period this could take to reject or grant the request is unknown, as it is with all ICC proceedings.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte has frequently stated that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over him and that he will not participate in the investigation.

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