Militant groups welcomed the probe to be conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the alleged crimes related to extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, including the deaths under the controversial war-on-drugs campaign of the Duterte administration.
“This may be Duterte’s ultimate nightmare yet a welcome development for the Filipinos seeking justice and accountability from his terror reign,” militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said.
“The ICC full probe is a critical step towards recovering the many counts of the Duterte regime’s high crimes against humanity that stemmed from the bloody war on drugs among other state policies that fuel grave human rights abuses,” it added.
In a statement, Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said the ICC investigation “deserves the full support of the Filipino people who are being terrorized by the mass murderer government.”
Meanwhile, farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the investigation is an initial step in our long quest for truth, accountability, and justice.
“We share the hope of the families of ‘war on drugs’ victims as we are also seeking justice for more than 300 peasant leaders and farmers killed under Duterte,” the KMP said in a statement.
“We hope the investigation will hold Duterte and all officials involved in the drug war accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people. When all institutions in the Philippines fail to give justice to victims, the ICC is our last resort,” it added.
In a statement, the ICC said the investigation will cover crimes allegedly committed between Nov. 1, 2011 and March 2019 “in the context of the so-called war on drugs campaign.”
“In accordance with Article 15(4) of the Statute, the Chamber found that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation, noting that specific legal element of the crime against humanity of murder under Article 7(1)(a) of the Statute has been met with respect to the killings committed throughout the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign, as well as with respect to the killings in the Davao area between 1 November 2011 and 30 June 2016,” the ICC said in a statement posted on its website.