PH appeals resumption of probe by ICC on deaths during illegal drugs operations

Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevarra

The Philippine government has appealed the decision of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) to resume the investigation into the drug war killings in the country.

“We filed a notice of appeal with the Appeals Chamber of the ICC last Feb. 3, challenging the entire decision of the pre-trial chamber authorizing the resumption of investigation into the Philippine situation,” said Solicitor General Menardo I. Guevarra on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

“This will be followed by the filing of our appeal brief before the end of this month,” Guevarra said.

Appealed by Guevarra of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was the decision of the PTC that granted the request of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) to resume the investigation.

The ICC announced last Jan. 26, “Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’ or ‘Court’) granted the Prosecutor's request to resume investigation into the Situation of the Republic of the Philippines (‘the Philippines’).”

“Following a careful analysis of the materials provided by the Philippines, the Chamber is not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the Court’s investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle,” the ICC said in a statement.

After examining the submissions and materials of the Philippine government and of the OTP as well as the victim's observations, the ICC said “the Chamber concluded that the various domestic initiatives and proceedings, assessed collectively, do not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps in a way that would sufficiently mirror the Court’s investigation.”

“The Philippine Government disagrees with, and hereby rejects, the Pre-Trial Chamber’s conclusions above mentioned,” the OSG’s notice stated.

“The relief being sought is a reversal of the decision and the denial of the OTP's request to resume investigation regarding the Situation in the Republic of the Philippines,” it stated.

The notice was signed by Guevarra and Assistant Solicitors General Myrna N. Agno-Canuto, Henry S. Angeles. Marissa B. Dela Cruz-Galandines, and Hermes L. Ocampo.

TAGS: #ICC #OSG #Killings in Illegal drugs operations #SolGen Guevarra