More than 1,000 families of drug war victims back ICC probe  

A TOTAL of 204 representations for about 1,050 families of those killed in the Duterte administration’s anti-illegal drug operations were submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to the Registry Report posted online on Monday.  

The report showed that of the total representations, which cover 1,530 individual victims, 94% or 192 want the international court to investigate President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs campaign.   

Five of the representations indicated that the victims did not want an investigation, while information was unclear in seven forms.   

The submissions were made from June 28 to Aug. 13 this year.   

A 2020 report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimated that there have been more than 8,000 deaths related to the drug war since it started in July 2016.   

The report on the submitted representations showed that murder was the most rampant among the alleged crimes in relation to the drug war, with 181 forms indicating that killing took place.   

The other crimes reported were torture with 103 representations, 54 for imprisonment or other severe deprivation, 28 were enforced disappearance, eight for attempted murder, and three indicated sexual violence.   

The report and representations were transmitted to the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber on Friday for ICC judges to analyze and decide on the request for investigation “in due time,” the ICC said in a separate post on its website.   

The court stressed, however, that the forms submitted “are not evidence and will only be shared with the Judges.”   

Former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda conducted a preliminary investigation on the alleged extrajudicial killings relating to Mr. Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign. Before leaving the post, Ms. Bensouda on May 24 filed a request to the ICC’s pre-trial chamber for an authority to investigate the Philippines after finding “a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed.”   

If the request is granted, the new prosecutor, Karim Khan, will handle the investigation. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago 

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