Colmenares to press ICC case vs Duterte with Senate run | Inquirer News

Colmenares to press ICC case vs Duterte with Senate run

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:42 AM September 24, 2021
Neri Colmenares

FILE: Neri Colmenares (Henzberg Austria/Senate PRIB)

Human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares will continue to fight for the families of victims of President Duterte’s drug war before the International Criminal Court (ICC) even as he announced his intention to run for senator next year.

Colmenares, former chair of the activist party list group Bayan Muna, said he wanted to be the voice of the poor in the Senate, adding that he would push for the advocacies of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives.


The Makabayan bloc includes lawmakers from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, ACT Teachers and Kabataan party lists.

On Sept. 15, ICC judges approved a formal investigation into Duterte’s possible crimes against humanity during his “war on drugs.”


Judges’ assessment of material presented by prosecutors, was that “the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation,” but rather amounted to a systematic attack on civilians.

Continued crimes

In a July speech, Duterte himself lashed out at the court and said he would continue his fight against drugs.

“I have never denied [it], and the ICC can record it: Those who destroy my country—I will kill you,” he said.

The judges said that relevant crimes appeared to have continued even after the Philippines withdrew its membership in the ICC, but that the court was limited to investigating those suspected to have occurred while the Philippines was a member.

“I will run for a Senate seat in 2022 if only to deliver the sharpest message of critique to the candidate of President Duterte,” Colmenares said in a television interview.

This will be Colmenares’ third Senate bid after having run and lost in the 2016 and 2019 senatorial races.

He told the Inquirer that, if he wins, he would push for “radical reforms in the public health system to meet the challenges of the pandemic and chronic health crisis.”

“[I will] continue my anticorruption advocacy and relentlessly expose and oppose those who steal public funds in the midst of pandemic,” he said.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: 2022 elections, duterte, Human rights, ICC, Neri Colmenares, Senate
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2021 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.