HUMAN RIGHTS group Rise Up for Life filed a supplemental motion before the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging it to open an investigation on the war on drugs in the Philippines which constitutes a crime against humanity.

In its second supplemental motion, it asked the court to admit additional evidence, noting that the number of deaths in the Philippines due to the bloody war on drugs continue to rise.

“Complainants submit that the information herein on the killings in the Philippines, alongside any future information from the UNHRC [United Nations Human Rights Council] probe, form part of evidence in this preliminary examination,” Rise Up said.

“Taken together with previous submissions, these are sufficient to prove that respondent Duterte is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity. We urge the speedy disposition of our case in the hope that said decision may stem the rising number of deaths,” it added.

The group noted that in August 2018, when the communication to the ICC was filed, the government said a total of 4,410 person were killed during police operations as of July 2018. In November 2018, the number of killings breached 5,000.

According to the Philippine National Police, 6,600 persons were killed since the formal start of the anti-drug campaign in June 30, 2016. But official data from the government under the “Real Numbers PH” campaign stated that 5,526 people were killed as of June 30 that year.

Rise Up also said that 74 Filipino children were among the casualties.

The Philippines withdrew from the Hague-based ICC in March 17, a year after it submitted its intention to withdraw to the United Nations secretary-general. This came following the announcement of the ICC Prosecutor in Feb. 8, 2018 that it would conduct a preliminary examination on the war on drugs. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas