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Gov’t to appeal against ICC probe resumption

January 27, 2023 Hector Lawas 228 views

THE Philippine government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), will appeal a ruling by the International Criminal Court (ICC) allowing the resumption of its investigation into the “unnecessary deaths” committed during the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra revealed this on Friday, saying they will “exhaust all available remedies including an appeal with the ICC appeals chamber.”

” We have received information that the pre-trial chamber of the ICC has authorized the ICC prosecutor to resume investigation into the Philippine situation. While we have not received an official copy of this resolution, it is our intention to exhaust our legal remedies, more particularly elevating the matter to the ICC appeals chamber.”

“We wish to emphasize that our own domestic investigative and judicial processes should take precedence, and we can show that despite structural and resource limitations in our legal system, it is still a well-functioning system that yields positive results in its own time, ” Guevarra said.

Previously, the Philippine government through the OSG under the Marcos administration has asked the ICC to deny Prosecutor Karim Khan’s request to resume its investigation.

In a submission to ICC’s request to respond on Khan’s application to resume investigation, the government questioned the propriety of the investigation pointing out that the Court has no jurisdiction over the Philippines.

Furthermore, the OSG stressed that the alleged unwarranted killings does not constitute crimes against humanity because the said incidents does not qualify as an attack against civilian population.

It continued that the said killings are now being investigated and prosecuted by the proper agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The ICC suspended investigation into the supposed atrocities committed during the campaign against illegal drugs to assess a deferral letter-request from the Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands.

The letter-request, dated November 10, 2021, told the ICC that the Philippine government was investigating the alleged crimes.

But Prosecutor Khan has asked the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I, in a 53-page application, to authorize the resumption of their investigation into the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs that resulted to thousands of unnecessary deaths

In return, the ICC has asked the Philippine government to respond to Khan’s plea before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I to resume their investigation into the bloody war on drugs.

The Philippine Justice Department led a panel of several government agencies, including law enforcement units, in reviewing 5,655 anti-drug operations that resulted in deaths to see whether to file charges against the police officers involved.

The DOJ has been granted unprecedented access to PNP’s records of deaths during the government’s war on drugs.