Sotto to ICC: ‘What about drug groups killings in Mexico, other South American countries?
MANILA, Philippines- “Vigilantes? What about drug groups killings in Mexico and other South American countries, are they also investigating?”
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III raised this question on Tuesday after outgoing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested judicial authorization to proceed with an investigation on the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the Philippines.
In her request for judicial authorization, Bensouda noted that information obtained by the prosecution “suggests that state actors, primarily members of the Philippine security forces, killed thousands of suspected drug users and other civilians during official law enforcement operations.”
“Markedly similar crimes were committed outside official police operations, reportedly by so-called ‘vigilantes’, although information suggests that some vigilantes were in fact police officers, while others were private citizens recruited, coordinated, and paid by police to kill civilians,” she said.
According to Bensouda, the situation in the Philippines had been under preliminary examination since February 8, 2018.
And during that time, she said, her office “has been busy analyzing a large amount of publicly available information and information provided to us under article 15 of the Statute.”
“On the basis of that work, I have determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the Government of Philippines “war on drugs” campaign,” she then said in a statement posted on ICC website on Monday.
But Sotto also questioned this statement.
“What work? Has she been here and investigated? Or merely relying on the reports of the petitioners?” Sotto asked in a text message.