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Monday, May 27, 2024

ICC contacts drug war cops

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50 retired, active police officials involved in Rody’s case

At least 50 former and active police officials were contacted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the crime against humanity case against former President Rodrigo Duterte, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said.

In a post on X, Trillanes said he obtained highly credible information that the ICC investigators have already directly communicated with these PNP members.

This as the Department of Justice on Wednesday said the government is taking all the necessary steps to hold accountable erring law enforcers involved in extrajudicial killings.

“We guarantee that reforms are in place to change the mindset and attitude of erring law enforcers and make them responsible for their actions. We are taking all the necessary steps to strengthen the criminal justice system and hold to account the perpetrators of these violations,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a statement.

Trillanes said since the former and active police officers were linked to the case against Duterte, their status may be elevated to being a suspect should they refuse to cooperate with the ICC.

ICC investigators can label the police officials as co-suspects, which could result in the imposition of travel restrictions against them, Trillanes said.

Earlier, President Marcos said his administration does not play politics with jurisdiction and sovereignty as he reiterated his position of not inviting the ICC to investigate his predecessor “more fully” despite differences with the Duterte patriarch.

Mr. Marcos said the ICC was “formed to conduct, to provide justice to areas where there is no judiciary” as he highlighted the country’s working police and justice system.

‘’We have a functioning police force. We have a functioning judiciary, and it is their responsibility to take care of that. We have made a great deal of progress in that regard where many policemen have already been removed from service because they’ve been found to be liable, cases have been filed. Many are already in jail,’’ he added.

A recent OCTA Research Survey showed at least 59 percent of Filipinos support the Philippines rejoining the ICC, with 55 percent also in favor of investigating allegations of crimes against humanity during the previous administration.

In 2019, the Philippines, under then-President Duterte, withdrew from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, after the tribunal began a probe into his bloody drug war, followed by a formal inquiry in September 2021.

But the Hague-based tribunal said it retains jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed while the Philippines was a member from November 2011.

Duterte carried out his war on drugs from 2016 to 2022. Under this campaign, law enforcement authorities pursued suspected drug dealers and users, several of whom ended up dead by way of summary executions.

A 2023 US report that found that extrajudicial killings remained a serious problem in the Philippines.

Remulla, however, said there are no shortcuts in enforcing peace and order.

Amnesty International called on President Marcos to make a categorical “policy pronouncement” against the war on drugs as it noted that EJKs had persisted in 2023.

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