‘Wheels of justice are turning’: Group welcomes ICC official’s request to probe Duterte’s drug war

Published June 15, 2021, 2:57 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has welcomed the request of outgoing International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to open an investigation on the Duterte government’s war-on-drugs campaign.

(Photo courtesy of BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes)

“We welcome ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to open an investigation on the situation in the Philippines, citing reasonable basis that crimes against humanity were committed in Duterte’s drug war,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in a Twitter post on Monday, June 14.

“The wheels of justice are turning. Let justice for the victims be served,” he added.

On Monday, the outgoing ICC official announced that the preliminary examination into the situation in the Philippines has concluded, and that she has requested judicial authorization to proceed with a probe.

“On that basis of that work, I have determined that there is reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the Government of the Philippines ‘war on drugs’ campaign,” Bensouda said.

In a separate tweet on Tuesday, June 15, Reyes said that the request of the ICC official to conduct a probe on the country’s is a step towards justice for the people who were killed in Duterte’s bloody war on drugs (WoD).

“Malinaw sa pahayag ng prosecutor Fatou Bensouda na may ‘reasonable basis’ para imbestigahan ng ICC ang gobyernong Duterte na nagsagawa ng libo-libong pagpatay sa ngalan ng gera kontra droga (Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s statement made it clear that there is a ‘reasonable basis’ for the ICC to investigate the Duterte government that committed thousands of killings in the name of the war on drugs),” he said

“Kahit kumalas na sa ICC ang Pilipinas ay hindi matatakasan ni Duterte ang pananagutan nya (Even if the Philippines leaves the ICC, Duterte will not be able to escape his responsibility),” he added.

The Bayan official said officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will also be investigated “for their role in the killings.”

“Isa sa pinakarumal-dumal na krimen ng rehimeng Duterte ang war on drugs. Sa kabila ng libo-libong napatay, nagpapatuloy ang paglalako ng iligal na droga. Palpak ang WoD (One of the most heinous crimes of the Duterte regime is the war on drugs. Despite the thousands killed, the illegal drug trade continues. WoD is a failure),” he said.

“Ang findings ng ICC prosecutor ay isang malinaw na batayan kung bakit hindi na dapat hayaang maghari pa muli ang kadiliman sa ating bansa. Marapat nang wakasan ang rehimen na state-sponsored killings (The findings of the ICC prosecutor are a clear basis as to why darkness should not be allowed to reign in our country again. The regime of state-sponsored killings must end),” he added.