The International Criminal Court (ICC) has temporarily suspended investigations into alleged human rights abuses under the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “drug war” campaign in response to a postponement request submitted by Manila. A document released on the 19th revealed.
In September, a Hague-based court approved an official investigation into Duterte’s drug control campaign, allegedly killing thousands of drug traders.
According to court documents, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan wrote that the Philippine government filed a postponement request on November 10 through Ambassador Eduardo Malaya, who quoted the Philippines’ own investigation into the alleged abuse.
In his letter requesting a postponement, Malaya said the Philippines “may have been filed or filed in court for the mistakes of members of the Philippine National Police and others within their jurisdiction. He is enthusiastic about the successful prosecution of the proceedings. “
“The prosecution temporarily suspended investigation activities while assessing the scope and effectiveness of the postponement request,” Khan said, adding that the prosecution would seek additional information from the Philippines.
Duterte, 76, was elected in 2016 with a promise to eradicate drugs in the Philippines.
Since July 2016, more than 200,000 drug crackdowns have killed at least 6,181 people, according to official data. ICC prosecutors estimate the death toll to be between 12,000 and 30,000.
Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the ICC in 2018, and his government repeatedly did not cooperate in any investigation. However, the court has jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed by 2019 while the country is a member.
Despite Manila’s request for a postponement to the ICC, Duterte claims that the ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute him.His chief legal adviser, Salvador Panero, said Reuters “There is no contradiction with the request to stop action.”
“We welcome the wiseness of the new ICC prosecutor, who deems it appropriate to reassess the issue, and supports the immunity of our government and the vibrant perception of our judicial system to resolve the issue. “I believe it will be done,” said Carlo Noglares, acting spokesman for Duterte, in a statement on November 20.
The National Federation of Bar Associations, which represents some families of drug war victims, has urged the ICC not to be influenced by the Duterte administration’s allegations.
It showed that the Philippine judicial system was “very slow, poor and unavailable to the majority of unrepresented victims.”
Commenting on this issue, Human Rights Watch said the government’s claim that existing domestic mechanisms give citizens justice is ridiculous.
“Let’s hope the ICC sees the tactics,” Asia’s director Brad Adam said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this article.