The International Criminal Court (ICC) probe on crimes against humanity under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will not be limited to the thousands allegedly killed in the government’s bloody war on drugs from the start of the President’s term in 2016.
The probe will include the reported hundreds of deaths of civilians in summary executions by the Davao Death Squad in Davao City before Duterte became the President.
The ICC on Wednesday,September 15, approved the conduct of a full investigation into crimes against humanity during the Philippines’ so-called war on drugs under Duterte.
Set up in 2002, the ICC is a so-called court of last resort and only becomes involved in probing the world’s worst crimes if its member states are unable or unwilling to do so.
In its decision, the ICC said it “authorizes the commencement of the investigation into the Situation in the Philippines, in relation to crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 November 2011 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign.”
Basing on the specific dates whenthe crimes were committed, , the ICC will look not only at Duterte’s bloody war on drugs during his term as the President from 2016, but also at killings by the so-called Davao Death Squad when Duterte was mayor and vice mayor of Davao City.
“It appears, on the basis of the supporting material, that the killings in the Davao area between 1 November 2011 and 30 June 2016 show a certain pattern and may constitute crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of the Court,” said the ICC.