PH appeals resumption of ICC drug war probe

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The Philippine government files a notice of appeal against the International Criminal Court pre-trial chamber’s decision to resume investigation into the country’s controversial war on drugs. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8)— The Philippine government has formally appealed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to halt the pre-trial chamber’s decision to resume its investigation into the country’s controversial drug war.

The government filed the notice of appeal before the ICC’s appeals chamber on Feb.3, court records showed.

“The relief being sought is a reversal of the decision and the denial of the [request] to resume investigation,” read the document — which was submitted by Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra and other officials.

“The Philippine government thus hereby requests that the implementation of the decision be suspended pending final resolution of this appeal.”

Launched by former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, the Philippines’ flagship anti-drug campaign has earned the ire of the global rights community after thousands were reported killed in the conduct of police operations.

The ICC suspended its drug war probe in November 2021 following a deferral request from the Philippine government. But the court later noted that it was "not satisfied" with developments in the local investigations, prompting the chamber to approve last month the resumption of its own inquiry.

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In its petition, the Philippine government said it disagrees with and rejects the findings of the pre-trial chamber.

Guevarra, in a separate message to reporters, said they will be filing their appeal brief before the end of the month.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla also earlier said that the current administration is still open to holding dialogue with the ICC, but stressed it won’t accept any “impositions.”

This is a developing story.