PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is welcoming investigation of any probing body as he maintains that he is not allowing the summary executions of drug personalities contrary to international reports, a Palace official said on Friday.
In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar reiterated that the spate of killings is not "state-sanctioned."
"Drug-related killings, including vigilante killings, are not state-sanctioned. Many of those who died were killed during legitimate police operations which are currently undergoing investigation as directed by the President," Andanar said.
"In any case, the President has articulated that he is willing to submit himself for an investigation before anybody," he added.
This was Andanar's remarks in response to the statement of International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that she was "deeply concerned" over the deaths of more than 3,000 individuals linked to drugs when Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30.
"Let me be clear: any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing, in any other manner, to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of ICC is potentially liable to prosecution before the court," Bensouda said in a statement Thursday.
"My office, in accordance with its mandate under the Rome Statute, will be closely following developments in the Philippines in the weeks to come and record any instance of incitement or resort to violence with a view to assessing whether a preliminary examination into the situation of the Philippines needs to be opened," he added.
Andanar cited the recently concluded Senate inquiry into the deaths of suspected drug personalities, which had found out that the summary killings of drug suspects were not authorized by the state.
In a text message, Foreign Affairs Secretary Charles Jose said that the government does not condone extrajudicial killings. He said the President in fact has already ordered to investigate the rising number of people killed.
Despite criticisms, the President insisted Thursday that he was not tolerating the "torture" of alleged drug personalities.
“[They said that the drug killing is] a form of torture. We do not do it. I will not also allow it. Torture is very odious to me,” Duterte said in a speech during his meeting with businessmen in Paranaque. (Sunnex)