MANILA, June 25 (Mabuhay) –Malacañang said on Saturday that it was exasperated with International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan’s request for the resumption of the investigation into the Philippine war on drugs, saying that the government had been transparent in addressing the flaws in the campaign.
“Amid our hugely successful anti-illegal drug campaign that saw a massive dip in crime incidences attributed to drug abuse, the Duterte administration has undertaken, through the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Philippine National Police, among others, investigations of all deaths that have arisen from lawful drug enforcement operations,” Presidential Communications Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar responded in a statement.
Andanar added that the administration’s efforts to address its faults in the drug war was supported by the United Nations through the three-year Joint Program on Human Rights that took effect in July last year.
The acting Palace spokesperson thus urged the international community to let the Philippine government’s efforts run their course, adding that veering away from reciprocity as a method of work of the ICC only revealed the “politicization” that had allegedly infiltrated its ranks.
Andanar also argued that while the ICC cited the Philippine Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR’s) report for its call for intervention, the CHR did not imply a need for a direct external investigation.
“Surely, the CHR knows the implications of such intervention on State sovereignty, and we expect the ICC, especially Mr. Khan, to know that as well,” Andanar said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Justice Department told GMA News Online that while it had much to say about the development, it was both necessary and prudent that the DOJ first discuss the matter with the Foreign Affairs Department and other involved agencies.
“Pursuant to our internal understanding, all public statements about the ICC case shall emanate from the DFA,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
In a 53-page resolution, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan on Friday said the Philippine government had not demonstrated that it investigated or was investigating its nationals or others in connection with the series of killings attributed to the anti-drug campaign.
“Notably, the Philippine government makes no reference at all to any investigation into crimes committed before July 2016, nor to any investigation into crimes other than murder—and, even then, only murders allegedly carried out in police operations, as opposed to murders allegedly carried out in other relevant circumstances,” Khan said in his request to the chamber. (MNS)