A lawyers’ group on Wednesday called on the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) should it continue its probe into the Duterte government’s war on illegal drugs.
In a statement, Center for International Law Philippines (CenterLaw) said it supports ICC Prosecutor Karim Ahmed Khan’s request to reopen the investigation months after it was suspended upon the Philippine government’s request.
“The Filipino people deserve much more than empty words and false promises,” the group said. “As President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term comes to a close, CenterLaw calls on the next administration to cooperate with the investigations of the Office of the Prosecutor and to put an end to the senseless drug war.”
It stressed the Philippine government has failed to investigate the thousands of lives claimed by Mr. Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
CenterLaw disagreed with Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra’s claim that the war on drugs was largely successful despite “excesses” committed by rogue cops.
“Contrary to the Duterte administration’s claims, the drug war is no success,” the group said. “Not only did it fail to deliver on Duterte’s false promise to eradicate the illegal drug trade; it claimed an estimated 12,000 and 30,000 lives along the way.”
Hansley A. Juliano, a former political science professor studying at Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development in Japan, said it remains to be seen “to what extent will the Marcos Jr. administration be well disposed to the ICC.”
“We do not expect it to be cordial in any way, especially since the presence of incoming Vice-President Sarah Z. Duterte-Carpio is presumably for that kind of continuity,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat.
Ms. Duterte is the outgoing president’s daughter.
Data from the Philippine government released in June 2021 showed that at least 6,117 suspected drug dealers had been killed in police operations as of April 2021. Human rights groups estimate that about 30,000 suspected drug personalities have been killed.
Incoming Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla earlier said he would look into the Justice department’s initial review of the anti-illegal drug campaign. — John Victor D. Ordoñez