Youth group lauds ICC investigation on Duterte drug war

Published June 22, 2021, 12:50 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A youth group lauded the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate the Philippine government’s war on drugs.

(Photo courtesy of Human Rights Watch)

In a statement, the League of Filipino Students (LFS) said the investigation is “the right step forward” in holding President Duterte “accountable for his heinous acts.”

“Over the past five years, the Duterte regime has passed anti-democratic laws and amplified impunity across the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces. This led to the approval of the Terror Law, which targets progressives accused of terrorism to be subjected to torturous acts and lengthened detention under the hands of state forces,” the group underscored.

On June 15, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the tribunal to open an investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity during the drug war from 2016 to 2019.

According to Bensouda, around 12,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed from July 2016 to March 2019 in connection with the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

The ICC, which has jurisdiction over 124 of its members, including the Philippines, was created through the 1988 United Nations statute.

The Philippines has signed the Rome Statute on Dec. 28, 2000, and ratified and endorsed it in August 2011, before it withdrew from the ICC on March 17, 2019.