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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Makabayan asks PBBM to support ICC investigation of Rody’s drug war

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The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives made a fresh appeal to President Marcos to support the International Criminal Court’s probe into the so-called war on drugs of the former administration.

The bloc’s members, Reps. France Castro of ACT Teachers, Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, and Raoul Manuel of Kabataan, cited the need for the government “to cooperate with the investigation of the [ICC] on the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs.”

Castro said the group filed House Resolution No. 1393 on Oct. 17 to “urge the House leadership to support and co-author this resolution to show that we do not tolerate EJKs (extra-judicial killings) and that we are working for justice to be served to his victims, and their families.”

“Worse, the funds that former President and Davao City Mayor Duterte used to kill people are public funds—funds from the Filipino people, the victims, themselves. The people are not only questioning why a significant portion of public funds are made confidential and secret from the public, the Filipinos are outraged that these funds are used for extrajudicial and human rights violations,” HR 1393 read.

Duterte said in his show on SMNI Network aired last month that he used the intelligence funds allocated to Davao City to “have (them) killed,” referring to extrajudicial killings carried out by the infamous Davao Death Squad.

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The admission of the President, the three legislators said in the resolution, “justifies the call to allow the ICC to investigate the alleged crime against humanity” of the past leader “to give justice to thousands of Filipinos killed in Davao City and numerous parts of the country.”

Castro said Duterte’s televised admission of ordering extrajudicial killings and financing them with his confidential and intelligencefunds underscored the importance of allowing the ICC to investigate his crimes.

Brosas, for her part, said: “This admission by Duterte himself servesas strong evidence against him and should prompt the Marcos Jr. administration to allow ICC to investigate the matter under the principle of complementarity.” 

For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General on Friday said while nothing can stop former Senator Leila de Lima from helping the ICC, the government cannot be expected to cooperate.

De Lima was recently freed on bail after spending six years and eight months in prison on drug charges filed under the Duterte government.

“Senator De Lima is now a private individual, and nothing prevents any private person to assist the ICC investigator in pursuing their investigation in the Philippines. That’s her privilege if she wants to help the ICC prosecutors,” Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said in an interview with reporters.

“The only problem is she should not cooperation, direct and actual cooperation, from the government because the Republic of the Philippines has maintained its question of jurisdiction, exercise of jurisdiction by the ICC,” he said.

“If we allow the ICC to do the investigation here, we are admitting as a people that our own legal and judicial system is not effective. Are we ready to do that? That is my question,” he added.

De Lima’s lawyers earlier said the former senator “will be very much interested” in cooperating with the ICC on its investigation into Duterte’s war on drugs.

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