CHR asks gov't to cooperate with ICC drug war probe

Commission on Human Rights building Commission on Human Rights thumbnail

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday appealed to the government to cooperate in the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into the drug war killings in the Philippines.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, CHR commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said the commission is also willing to help the ICC in its investigation if requested by the international body.

“Ang aming panawagan is dapat makilahok at tugunan itong proseso ng ICC. Kung ang sinasabi na nagwo-work ang ating sistema ng hustisya rito, dapat ipakita rin iyon at maramdaman ng pamilya ng mga biktima,” Dumpit said.

(We appeal to the government to cooperate with the ICC. If they’re saying that the justice system in the country is still functioning, then they must show it and it must be felt by the families of the victims.)

“If there is no cooperation, it shows an unwillingness to cooperate.”

Malacañang has insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines since the country has already withdrawn from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

It also said that the ICC could not probe the Philippines since the country’s justice system is still functioning.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ICC said that its Pre-Trial Chamber 1 has granted then-Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s June 14 request to probe crimes “allegedly committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 November 2011 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign.”

Dumpit said the ICC probe is “a step in the right direction” although she admitted that “there is still a long road ahead.

“Yes, this is a step in the right direction kasi papunta tayao sa addressing the impunity in our country, but of course there is still a long road ahead,” she said.

The official noted that there is not enough government investigation into the killings related to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. She also said the such investigation is slow.

“Kasi sa ngayon nakikita natin na wala namang karampatang imbestigasyon. Hindi umuusad ang mga kaso, palaging sinasabing for investigation, ilang taon na ang nakararaan?” Dumpit said.

(There is not enough investigation. There’s hardly any progress in cases. They’ve been saying there is an investigation for years already.)

Dumpit said the ICC has not yet communicated with the CHR regarding the investigation, but she added that the commission is ready to help if ever such a request is made.

“Handa kaming i-offer yung meron kami. Kung i-request kami today, we can cooperate [We’re ready to offer what we have. If they make the request today, we can cooperate],” she said.

The CHR is conducting its own investigation into what Dumpit described as “systemic widespread attack” on drug suspects but it is hindered by alleged non-cooperation by law enforcement authorities.

The police maintained that those killed in the drug war — with numbers ranging from 6,000 to over 20,000 since 2016 — were those who fought it out with authorities during operations. –KBK, GMA News

This article CHR asks gov’t to cooperate with ICC drug war probe was originally published in GMA News Online.

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