ICC decision brings new light towards justice for war on drugs victims

The Philippine Coalition on the International Criminal Court (PCICC) responding to the ICC’s Pre Trial Chambers to continue investigation in the Philippines. Dr. Aurora Parong, PCICC co-chair and spokesperson, said:

“The decision of the Pre Trial Chamber to continue investigation of the crimes against humanity in the Philippines is a much awaited decision. It brings light, amidst darkness as we face elusive justice and so many problems in the country. The ICC decision does not speak well on the quality and quantity of investigations or other actions of the Philippines to deliver justice to tens of thousands of victims in the violent war on drugs.

“The Philippine government should now realize that diplomatic runs and rhetoric on justice will not stop the International Criminal Court to do its work to deliver justice for serious crimes in international law. The Philippines should take serious steps to investigate cases of killings, torture and arbitrary detention related to its drug campaign towards prosecution of direct perpetrators and those with command responsibility. The ICC needs evidence that there are serious criminal prosecutions for specific cases, not general statements.

“It must be noted that the decision comes after very strong recommendations for investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines in Geneva where Justice Secretary Remulla spoke about real justice in real time.

“We would like to remind the current government that it has an obligation to investigate and deliver justice not just to the victims of killings and other human rights violations during its administration. It also has an obligation to deliver justice for those whose rights were violated under the Duterte government.”