ICC judges allow ‘war on drugs’ investigation in Philippines

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — International Criminal Court judges on Wednesday authorized an investigation into the Philippines’ deadly ‘war on drugs’. ‘??cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation.’??

The court’s former prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, sought permission from judges earlier this year to investigate the Philippine government’s campaign.

He said a preliminary investigation he launched in February 2018 found “reasonable basis to believe that a crime of murder against humanity had been committed”. In the Philippines, between July 1, 2016, and March 16, 2019, when the Philippines withdrew from court.

In a written decision, the judges, considering Bensouda’s request, found “a reasonable basis to continue the investigation”?? He was involved in murders committed across the Philippines as part of the war on drugs, saying the court constitutes a crime against humanity under its founding statute.

In a statement, the court ruled that the judges could not see it as a ‘war on drugs’ campaign, based on the facts emerging at the ‘current stage and subject to proper investigation and further analysis. a legitimate law enforcement operation and the killings are neither legitimate nor otherwise just as extremism in a legitimate operation.’??

“The available material shows that, to the required standard, a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population occurred in accordance with or to advance a State policy,” they added.

When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he was withdrawing his country from court, he defended the campaign as “lawfully directed against the drug lords and dealers who have for years destroyed the current generation, especially the youth.”

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