Asia & Australia

October 14, 2016

Case of extrajudicial killings in Philippines heads to ICC


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The case of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines has attracted the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). These killings are said to be associated with the ongoing war on drugs encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has continued to draw international criticism for promoting mass violence towards alleged drug dealers contrary to humanitarian standards.

Considering this issue, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda denounced the officials of the Philippines and stressed that the Philippines is a state party to the ICC and that any Filipino who participates in mass violence within the court's jurisdiction may be subject to prosecution. The ICC has thus planned to continually monitor the country's activities, and based on the situation, it will decide whether a preliminary investigation needs to be launched.

Duterte held the presidential office after promising the Filipino population that he would aggressively crackdown on corruption and crime. During his campaign, Duterte declared that 100,000 people would die in his crackdown on crime. Since Duterte has held office, over 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed and 600,000 have surrendered to the police. He declared a ‘state of lawlessness’ in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars.

Duterte named 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation's illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Moreover, Duterte threatened to withdraw the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs. On October 2016, the UN condemned remarks made by Duterte comparing his war on drugs to the genocide of Jews by Hitler.

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