Friday, October 22, 2021

PDEA: ICC report unfair, one-sided

THE report of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that there is "reasonable basis" to believe that crimes against humanity of murder, torture and the infliction of serious physical injury and mental harm as other inhumane acts were committed during the Philippine war on drugs campaign was grossly unfair, unjustifiable and one-sided, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said.

PDEA, in a statement through its regional office, said the agency remains skeptical on how the ICC came up with its findings solely on the basis of open-source information.

Like all other well-founded reports, the ICC report should show proof and undergo the standard validation and vetting process before arriving at any firm conclusions, PDEA said.

"The ICC should have waited for the release of the report of an inter-agency panel created by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the apparent drug-related killings, rather than issuing general statements that are yet to be proven without the aid of a formal and local investigation," the agency added.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in a resolution, offered technical assistance to the Philippine government to strengthen its human rights and accountability measures, instead of launching an independent investigation.

Coming from the UNHRC, it is a credible testament that there lies an insufficient substantiation that extra-judicial killings exist in the Philippines, said PDEA.

The PDEA is optimistic that the ICC judges will decide against pursuing an open investigation into the situation in the Philippines predicated on the principle applied on the previous rulings of its pre-trial chamber due to the absence of cooperation from the accused country, where the ICC has territorial jurisdiction.

President Rodrigo Duterte does not recognize the ICC jurisdiction over the Philippines as manifested by his withdrawal to be part of the Rome Statute, the treaty that forms the international tribunal, since the treaty was never published in a newspaper of general circulation.

Considering there is an absence of jurisdiction, it stands to reason that any ICC rulings are not enforceable in the country.


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