Sotto believes gov’t should allow ICC see PH’s anti-drug drive
MANILA, Philippines — For Senate President Vicente Sotto III, the government should just allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) to look into the drug war situation in the Philippines.
Sotto made the remark Wednesday after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested judicial authorization to proceed with an investigation of the crimes against humanity case filed against President Rodrigo Duterte in relation to the country’s war against drugs.
“Ako [Me], on a personal note lang, not as a Senate President, but as Tito Sotto the advocate against illegal drugs, let them and see for themselves. Look at the drug operations, check out the drug operations that have transpired, baka mabuti pa nga yun eh,” Sotto said in an interview with INQside Look.
Nonetheless, Sotto said the ball is with the executive department to decide on the ICC probe.
“Katulad ng ibang kasama natin sa Senado [Like what our colleagues in the Senate believe], they are against it or they are in favor but what can they do? What can we do? We are not the persons to perhaps be able to give the correct answer,” Sotto said.
In the same interview, Sotto said that while he sees abuse in some police drug operations conducted, this should not put down other “successful” operations that led to the arrest of drug pushers.
Malacañang has said that Duterte will never cooperate in any investigation to be initiated by the ICC on killings linked to the government’s war against illegal drugs.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President will not cooperate on any probe since the Philippines is no longer a member of the ICC.
Bensouda’s preliminary examination, however, only covered drug war operations conducted from July 2016 to March 16, 2019 or operations when the Philippines was still an ICC member-state.