Embattled Senator Leila de Lima has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) “to heed the Filipino people’s pleas” to put a stop against the extra judicial killings that left over 8,000 dead.
“These killings must stop now, and those who allowed the perpetration of these crimes against humanity must be investigated and tried in the world’s court for the sake of the thousands of victims of extrajudicial and summary killings, and their widows and orphaned children,” said De Lima.
A criminal complaint has already been lodged at the ICC against President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 senior government officials for crimes against gumanity.
De Lima said: “It did not come as a surprise that a criminal complaint has been lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Duterte and 11 senior government officials for crimes against humanity, thus warranting an investigation, the issuance of arrest warrants, and the convening of a trial.”
De Lima said the “complaint is solidly based on verified and verifiable documentary and testimonial evidence—more than journalistic anecdotes—on the complicity of the President and his officials in orchestrating, encouraging, and perpetuating the culture of impunity in the killing of suspected drug offenders and innocent civilians, including women and children. In fact, there are real witnesses who risked their own lives and their families to come forward and testify about the truth.”
Far from what others claim, the complaint is not black propaganda or a political ploy to oust the President. Instead, it is a formal complaint lodged before the ICC because the Filipino people have already been alarmed, to say the least, about the continued daily killings in the Philippines. It is about making our elected officials accountable for the horrific crimes being committed before the eyes of the Filipino people and the world.”
In a statement, Akbayan President Machris Cabreros said the “ICC case against Duterte is only the latest symptom of the continued call for accountability that this administration continues to evade. Populist acceptance is not an excuse to stand by while the killings continue.”
Cabreros said Akbayan “supports all legal and Constitutional means to exact accountability from the President in his continuing policy of advocating murder in his campaign against drugs.”
Akbayan said the ICC is a last resort against the government’s inaction over the reported 8,000 deaths.
“We dare the President to account for the words he has said instead of relying on his spin masters to twist the truths of what he has publicly stated: he condones the employment of violence against drug suspects.
“The Filipino people need to understand that the Philippines is part of a global family of countries to which we have committed to respect the rule of law and human rights.
“When our own government is unable and unwilling to shield its own citizens from harm by acts of omission and commission, that same community of civilized nations has a responsibility to protect us from our worst impulses.
And the impulse in question before the ICC is the consent and exhortation that Duterte has given, quite explicitly, to the murder of our own citizens and the culture of impunity that allows for the dead bodies to pile up: promising pardon for police forces, killing as jobs for displaced OFWs, promotion for controversial police officers involved in extra judicial killings etc,” according to Cabreros.
The Philippines is a signatory to the Rome Statute recognizing the legitimacy of the ICC and adopting this through RA 9851.