Senate minority bloc calls for cooperation with ICC in war on drugs investigation | Inquirer News

Senate minority bloc calls for cooperation with ICC in war on drugs investigation

/ 02:33 PM January 27, 2023

risa honitiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Bibo Nueva España /Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate minority bloc wants the Philippine government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation of the country’s war on drugs.

The ICC recently resumed its probe into the country’s drug war, launched by then-President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III pushed for the country’s cooperation as the Philippines is a “responsible” world member.


“Let us cooperate as we are a responsible member of the world community of nations,” Pimentel told in a text message.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, the other minority bloc member, also hoped President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would adhere to international law.

“I hope the President adheres to international law and the Rome Statute as part of our commitment to the community of nations against state-sponsored impunity,” she said in a statement.

In 2018, then PresidentDuterte declared the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that formed the ICC.

The government, Hontiveros added, cannot “credibly” look into the killings supposedly perpetuated by state agents.

“The ICC is filling a long-standing vacuum in the investigation of the state-sponsored ‘tokhang,'” she said.


“Justice requires that an impartial body investigate killings connected to the so-called war on drugs. Justice is not fully served when only the foot soldiers are behind bars.”

“This increased international participation also makes it only appropriate for the Philippine [government] to rejoin as a state party to the Rome Statute as soon as possible,” she said.

Asserting that she will “never forget” extra-judicial killing victims, Hontiveros stressed that “there is overwhelming evidence that the war on drugs carried out widespread and systematic violations of human rights.”

Duterte and Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former Philippine National Police chief, was accused of crimes against humanity over the alleged extrajudicial killings triggered by the war on drugs.

The ICC began the investigation in September 2021 but was halted after two months upon the Philippine government’s request.

As of April 30 last year, the brutal war on drugs resulted in the recorded death 6,248 individuals.

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Figures from human rights organizations, however, pegged the deaths at over 20,000.

TAGS: Drugs, ICC, Probe

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