Marcos admin urged to allow ICC probe if ‘PH gov’t has nothing to hide’

If the Philippine government “has nothing to hide", then President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. should let the International Criminal Court (ICC) continue its investigation into the previous Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs, Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said.

Permanent premises of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. (Marina Riera/Human Rights Watch)

In a statement on Saturday, Jan. 28, the militant lawmaker expressed her group’s support behind the ICC's planned resumption of its probe on former president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war that had killed thousands of poor Filipinos.

“Moreover, if the Philippine government has nothing to hide, it must let the ICC conduct an investigation,” Brosas, a member of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives, said.

“We remain firm in our stand that the government has no basis to appeal - local investigations are not enough. The ICC has every reason to resume its investigation with the overwhelming number of evidence and statements from the victims' families,” she added.

The ICC suspended its investigations in November 2021 after the Philippines requested that it be allowed to do its own probe but it has just announced that it granted its prosecutor’s request to reopen the probe.

In a statement, the international court said that it was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the investigation".

READ: Philippines to appeal ICC resumption of drug war probe

Brosas called on human rights organizations to “amplify the people's calls to let the ICC conduct its probe, and bring justice to thousands of poor FIlipinos who were victims of Oplan Tokhang".

“We call on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to defer its move to revamp and push involved PNP officers to retire. They must testify in the ICC probe and be held accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people,” the statement added.

Duterte withdrew from the ICC in 2019, but the Court stressed that it still has jurisdiction over the killings that happened from 2016 when the former president assumed power up to the time the withdrawal took effect.

Reports indicated that some 6,200 mostly poor Filipinos suspected of peddling drugs were killed during anti-drugs operations under Duterte’s time.

Human rights groups said the unofficial tally of people who died during the drug war could even balloon to tens of thousands.