The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced through a statement that it will continue to investigate the Philippines war on drugs which reports had claimed thousands of alleged drug users and peddlers in the process.
“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 released Thursday.
Last September 2021, the ICC prosecutor announced that it was opening a formal inquiry into the Duterte administration’s drugs war after several petitioners accused him and his subordinates, including his former police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, now a senator, of being responsible for the death of thousands of drug suspects.
The proceedings were stopped in November 2021 at the Philippine government’s request.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. even said the ICC need not conduct its investigation since Filipinos “have a functioning judiciary.”
However, the ICC said the Philippine government’s efforts to probe the drug war “do not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps” that sufficiently mirror the ICC investigation.
“After having examined the submissions and materials of the Philippines Government, and of the ICC Prosecutor, as well as the victims’ observations, 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 ICC further said.
Meanwhile, former PNP Chief, now senator, Ronald “Bato Dela Rosa said that a “third force” behind the resumption of the ICC investigation. “They are mad because they were hit hard by the Duterte administration” Dela Rosa said
The former police chief alleged that the “left”, all anti-Duterte forces, really want to prosecute him and the former president.
Asked by the media about the “third force”, Dela Rosa pointed to those who initiated the investigation against them, including Duterte and other government officials.
Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said that the Philippines will appeal the ICC’s latest decision to the chambers’ courts of appeal.
“It is our intention to exhaust our legal remedies. more particularly, elevating the matter to the ICC appeals chamber” Guevarra said.