Rodrigo Roa Duterte KGCR, who served as the 16th president of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022, dismissed the move of the International Criminal Court (ICC), an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal seated in The Hague, to resume an investigation into his “war on drugs.”
Recently, the ICC rejected the Philippine government’s appeal to stop an investigation into Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs.” Duterte said that only Philippines courts can hear crime cases committed in the country.
Duterte’s former spokesperson, Harry Roque, said that Rodrigo Duterte “shrugged off” the decision of the ICC judges of starting the probe into “possible crimes against humanity.”
Harry Roque reportedly said, “He has time and again said that because of this, he will face all his accusers anytime but before Philippine courts and before Filipino judges only.”
Earlier this year, ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber noted that the Philippines government’s initiative to reexamine “drug war” killings did “not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps.”
A five-judge bench confirmed the decision of the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber to grant Prosecutor Karim Khan’s request to start investigation into “drug war” killings.
According to government reports, at least 6,252 have been killed in anti-drug operations. However, rights groups have claimed that up to 30,000 may have been killed.
Reportedly, thousands of people were killed by law enforcement with “near impunity” in mysterious circumstances during Duterte’s crackdown on illicit drugs.
According to a report by the United Nations, around tens of thousands of people were killed, including at least 73 children, during Duterte’s crackdown on illicit drugs. The ICC started investigating these allegations.
When Duterte took office in 2016, he reportedly launched his “war on drugs” and urged police to “kill” drug suspects. However, Duterte said he never gave orders to kill people, other than in self-defense.