Duterte orders Año to come up with drug war report for ICC
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed the interior department to prepare a report on his controversial war on drugs as he maintained that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the crackdown.
During a meeting of the government's pandemic task force last Monday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the operations against illegal drugs continue despite the pandemic.
A total of 940 operations were conducted from December 5 to 11 and resulted in the arrest of 1,253 suspects, the surrendering of 21 individuals, and the seizure of about P72.87 million worth of narcotics.
Duterte then asked Año if the government can produce a compilation of all shabu seized during his presidency.
"Well, it's all intended to apprise the human rights (advocates). And maybe when the time comes, we will use it to show to the ICC na that's the reason why we are not – I am not going to bow down to their jurisdiction… because they would see the enormity of the problem of shabu in the country," the president said.
Año vowed to produce the report.
"For now, our estimate is (that) we have seized P79 (billion) to P80 billion of shabu. I will come up with a detailed report in our next meeting, Mr. President," the interior chief said.
More than 6,000 drug suspects have died since Duterte launched his bloody crackdown against narcotics, worrying human rights advocates who believe that the campaign has encouraged extrajudicial killings and other abuses.
An ICC pre-trial chamber has allowed an investigation into the deaths linked to the drug war but the Duterte administration insists that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the issue. Officials argue that the Rome Statute, which formed the ICC, did not satisfy publication requirements and therefore, did not take effect in the Philippines.
The administration, however, has asked ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan to suspend the probe, saying actions are being undertaken to probe the deaths tied to anti-narcotics operations. The ICC prosecution has suspended the probe but has requested the Philippine government to provide information about its investigations.
In his previous speeches, Duterte insisted that he won't face trial before the ICC.
"If you insist on prosecuting me before the ICC, to the locals, listen, for your education, nothing will happen. You cannot bring me within the jurisdiction of your ICC because here in the Philippines, you have deprived me of my constitutional right that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, and property without due process of law," Duterte said in a speech in Palawan last November 4.
"What is the due process? The publication. Ngayon, manigas kayo (drop dead)," he added.
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