ICC Prosecutor seeks resumption of PH drug war probe

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 25) – International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan has sought to resume the international tribunal’s probe on the drug war in the Philippines.

Khan asked the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to allow his office to continue their investigation, citing the Philippine government failed to show its own probe into the brutal crackdown launched by the Duterte administration.

“The GovPH does not appear to be investigating whether any of the alleged crimes were committed pursuant to a policy or occurred systemically, or whether any person in the higher echelons of the police or government may be criminally responsible. For these reasons alone, the Court should not defer to the GovPH’s investigation,” Khain said in a 53-page request published on Friday.

Khan added the Philippine government’s investigations only showed a small number of killings that did not lead to any criminal prosecutions.

The ICC Prosecutor said resuming the international court’s probe into the drug war will allow victims to file written submissions.

“Despite the Prosecution’s requests for further substantiation, the documents submitted by the GovPH largely consist of lists of cases, which do not provide evidence of sufficient specificity and probative value to establish concrete and progressive investigative steps to ascertain criminal responsibility within the parameters of the Court’s intended investigation,” Khan elaborated.

The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber gave the approval to investigate the drug war in the Philippines from July 1, 2016 until March 16, 2019. The start date is the first full day of President Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s chief executive, while the end date was the day he withdrew the Philippines from the court.

The probe also covered Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs starting Nov. 1, 2011, when he was still the Davao City mayor.

The ICC halted their probe in November last year upon the request of the Philippine government.