Families of drug war victims submit more evidence vs Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Critics and families of victims killed in the government’s bloody drug war have submitted more evidence in crimes against humanity complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte, which was filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
In its motion to admit third supplemental pleading, Rise Up for Life and for Rights complainants Dennise David, Maria Lozano, Mariel Sabangan, Normita Lopez, Purisima Dacumos and Christine Pascual asked outgoing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to admit their additional evidence for the complaint against President Duterte.
The complainants were assisted by their legal counsel in the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL).
“Complainants respectfully pray of the Honorable Prosecutor to ADMIT the additional evidence submitted through this Third Supplemental Pleading and CONSIDER the same in her decision on the disposition of herein Complaint,” read the motion filed on Jan. 21, 2021 but was sent to the media on Saturday.
“Complainants respectfully REITERATE the prayer in the original complaint, and stress on the urgent need to OPEN an investigation into crimes against humanity in the Philippines,” it added.
In its 10-page motion, the drug war victims’ families cited the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report in June 2020 which “clearly detailed widespread, unrelenting human rights abuses and violations related to the war on drugs.”
UN experts found that: “Since the Philippine government launched its campaign against illegal drugs in 2016, official figures indicate that at least 8,663 people have been killed, with some estimates putting the real toll at almost 30,000.“
The complainants also cited in their motion that Duterte unleashed a barrage of insults against UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and Bensouda.
“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed a barrage of insults against international human rights officials, calling a UN special rapporteur ‘malnourished,’ and referring to an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor as ‘that black woman,’ prompting the UN human rights chief to call for his ‘psychiatric evaluation,’” read the motion.
With these pieces of evidence filed, the complainants urged that Duterte should be held accountable for “intimidating and retaliating against the officials of the Court.
In December 2020, Bersouda reported that there is “reasonable basis to believe” that Duterte and state forces committed crimes against humanity in the war on drugs between July 1 2016 and March 16, 2019.
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