Drug war victims see no justice under Marcos admin ­– ICC

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) — The families of drug war victims are pushing the International Criminal Court (ICC) to continue its probe into the controversial anti-drug campaign of the Duterte regime, as they expressed doubt the cases would progress under the Marcos administration.

In a 20-page report dated May 22, the ICC said it received representations echoing the views and concerns of 350 individual victims and 165 families regarding the ongoing appeals proceedings.

The consultation process among the families, which was conducted by its Victims Participation and Reparations Section, found they “unanimously and strongly urge” the ICC to pursue its Jan. 26 decision authorizing the court’s prosecutor office to resume its investigation into the bloody drug campaign.

The victims likewise alleged that the war on drugs “continues” under the leadership of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The ICC said the victims also rejected the grounds of appeal submitted by the government, raising the need for a “genuine investigation” to obtain justice.

The Philippine justice system, the victims said, continued to show “no actual investigation,” even seven years after filing some of the cases.

“Justice and accountability in the Philippines remain largely elusive and victims and victims’ families face enormous difficulties in seeking accountability using available domestic legal remedies,” the report read, quoting the words of the victims.

The victims cited the following as proofs of the “fragility” of the local judicial system:

— lack of effective remedies for victims

— lack of access to relevant official documents or procedures

— falsification of death certificates

— protracted efforts to dissuade and stop victims from pursuing cases

— promotion of the alleged perpetrators by authorities as opposed to an investigation into potential criminal conduct

They stressed that Philippine government agencies also showed “resistance” against attempts to obtain the recognition that drug killings were not regulated by law.

“The lack of a government inquiry into the widespread killings and abuses significantly impacts the rights of victims, and in particular, denying them the opportunity to identify, prosecute, and punish the perpetrators of these grave crimes against humanity,” according to the document.

The families also lambasted the authorities’ previous remarks that the victims were “collateral damage” in supposed police operations.

The victims’ families also expressed worries for their lives, saying the police “continue to harass and intimidate victims in their own homes and communities.”

In April, the ICC said former President Rodrigo Duterte “encourage” the thousands of killings and other crimes related to his crackdown on illegal drugs.

It also rejected the Philippine government’s claim that the killings and other crimes related to the anti-drug campaign are of “marginal gravity.”