PNP to ICC: Respect PH sovereignty

January 30, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 314 views

THE Philippine National Police headed by General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. on Monday called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to respect the country’s sovereignty and recognize the fact that the government is fully investigating drug-related deaths during the previous Duterte administration.

“The PNP encourages the ICC to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty and acknowledge the capacity of the Philippines’ judicial system. As the PNP has always maintained, that the Philippines has a robust, efficient and functioning criminal justice system with active legal proceedings and remedies available any claim of human rights abuses in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign,” Gen. Azurin told newsmen at Camp Crame.

“We are not hiding anything,” he emphasized and said ‘this is evidenced by ongoing investigations on all drug-related deaths and cases of successful prosecution of some government personnel involved in related crimes.”

Additionally, the top cop said that there are administrative cases being handled by the PNP Internal Affairs Service and drug cases filed in court against drug personalities that rightfully describe the active stance of the PNP in addressing the drug problem in the country and at the same time internal discipline issues within the organization.

Gen. Azurin likewise maintained that het PNP is fully cooperating with the Department of Justice in reviewing cases involving police personnel found liable for lapses on police operational procedures in anti-illegal drug operations.

“What we are asking is for ICC to also give due respect to the judicial processes that we have in our country because we are a sovereign country. We have our own judicial proceedings,” he said.

The PNP chief also urged the ICC to submit evidence to back up their claims and should they find any, “we will do the process.”

“It’s a matter of reaching out sino ba iyong mga nag-co-complain na ito sa ICC, so they can engage us. And we promise, the PNP will help to make sure that they will be served justice, if that’s what they’re asking for,” he added.

The PNP during the time of now retired Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar submitted to the DOJ the folders of some 300 cases of alleged procedural lapses committed by some members of the force in the war on drugs during the former Duterte administration. Those folders triggered the filing of criminal charges against 52 police personnel.

“That’s why we don’t see any reason why the ICC would come in to investigate, because there are continuous investigations being done by the police in tandem with the Department of Justice,” Gen. Azurin said.

“I think we have to respect the final stand of our government here but the PNP will continue to investigate,” he added.

He also maintained that no additional cases have been forwarded to them since he took over as PNP chief last August although he said they are frequently looking into the cases involving police officers.

Last week, the ICC said it would resume a full-blown investigation into drug-related deaths during the Duterre presidency, a move which DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla Jr. called as ‘an insult to the government’s justice system.’