Drug war critics file complaint vs Duterte for ‘crimes against humanity’
Critics of the administration’s war on illegal drugs, along with relatives of drug suspects killed in police operations, have filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
According to the 50-page complaint from Rise Up for Life and Rights and other individuals submitted to the ICC on Tuesday, President Duterte has allegedly violated Article 7 of the Rome Statute for “widespread and systematic attacks in the form of murder of thousands of civilians.”
“I. The acts of Murder under Article 7, paragraph 1 (a) for the extra-judicial killings of thousands of Filipinos; and II. Other Inhumane Acts under Article 7, paragraph 1 (k) for causing great suffering to the victims and their families,” the complainants said.
The complainants, assisted by National Union of People’s Lawyers, also mentioned that crimes against humanity — which Duterte had supposedly committed — are cause for serious concern to the international community, according to the Article 5 of the Rome Statute.
“Such crimes are being committed in the Philippines, on a daily basis since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte took office, under his so-called ‘war on drugs’ and the alleged campaign against criminality,” they said.
They also cited paragraphs in Article 28 to put the responsibility on Duterte, as he was the commander of the police force and superior authority of other government agencies.
“President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally responsible, under the principle of command responsibility under Article 28, paragraphs (a) and (b), being the commander and superior authority over the police and other state security forces who committed the above mentioned acts of murder, inhumane acts, and other forms of persecution…” the complainants claimed.
In the last 2016 Presidential Elections, then-candidate Duterte vowed to implement a harsh approach against those involved in the illegal drug trade, with banters and statements like the funeral industry would flourish under his term because of the number of slain drug suspects.
During the 2018 State of the Nation Address, the President reiterated that the drug war would continue, and it would be relentless and chilling as it was before.
Critics have voiced their concern over the administration’s policy in the war against illegal drugs several times.
There are also different versions to the real number of slain suspects and individuals. As per August 16, the Philippine National Police places the number of those killed in police operations at over 4,400, while a June 2018 study from academe researchers has verified 5,000 deaths due to the drug war since Duterte took office. /je
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