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PH gov’t inaction on 5,000 deaths related to drug war bolsters case vs Duterte in ICC, lawyer says

The Duterte government is courting the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) admission of the Communications filed in connection with extrajudicial killings in pursuit of its war on drugs because of its inaction on the 5,000 cases of death during police operations, lawyer Gilbert Andres said.

Andres, one of the trustees of the Philippine Coalition for ICC, which filed a petition with the Supreme Court to stop the withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC, said, “the Kian de los Santos conviction is not enough to show that there is no inaction on the part of the Philippines.”

De los Santos was killed in a Caloocan police operation on the night of Aug.16, 2017. Cops reported the 17-year-old was a “drug runner” carrying a gun and resisted arrest. But a CCTV footage and a handful of witness accounts later disputed the report — he was seen wearing a shirt and boxer shorts being dragged by plain-clothes police. Three cops were convicted of murder in November 2018 at a Caloocan regional trial court.

Andres also said the country is still obliged to cooperate with the ICC on the investigations even after its withdrawal takes effect on March 17, 2019. Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo maintains otherwise.

In a press briefing on March 14, Panelo reiterated that the ICC never had “jurisdiction” over the Philippines. In March 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte argued that the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC, was never enforced in the country since it was not published in the Official Gazette as required by Philippine laws. A 1997 executive order by former President Fidel Ramos providing guidelines in negotiation and ratification of international agreements does not mention a publication requirement for treaties to be in effect.

Here is a timeline of the country’s membership to the ICC, once highlighted by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago as helpful in protecting the overseas Filipino workers. “It will put the Philippines in a better position to protect Filipino overseas, when they might suffer crimes against humanity in pursuing work abroad,” the late senator said in 2011. — Elijah Roderos




Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

ICC Preliminary Examination of the Philippines

Assembly of State Parties (ICC) Website

International Criminal Court Website

Lobbying of Senate Legarda on ratification of ICC in the Senate

Angara’s explanation of Senate Ratification on the ICC Rome Statute

Fidel Ramos’ Administrative Order to establish ICC

Miriam Santiago’s Press Release after the PH Membership to ICC

Fidel Ramos’ Administrative Order to establish ICC

Basic information on ICC Organization

ICC Court Process

Coalition for International Criminal Court – Information about Philippines’ Rome Statute

ICC Report on Preliminary Examinations of the Philippines

Coalition for the International Criminal Court – Website

ICC Rome Statute Penal Matters, United Nations Treaty Collections

PNP Chief Bato Dela Rosa orders the PNP to stop war on drugs (for internal cleansing)

PNP CMC 16-2016 – Project Double Barrel

DILG MC 2017-112

Rome Statute video explainer

International Humanitarian Law

2006 August 23 – Gloria’s Refusal to Transmit ICC Treaty to Senate (Koko Pimentel)

2008 September 27 – Malacanang delaying the RP endorsement of RP to the ICC (Kiko Pangilinan)

16 August 2011 – The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Miriam Santiago)