On the request of the ICC prosecutor

For the nth time, we express exasperation on the latest request of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan.

Amid our hugely successful anti-illegal drug campaign that saw a massive dip in crime incidences attributed to drug abuse, the Duterte administration has undertaken, through the Department of Justice, in partnership with the Philippine National Police, among others, investigations of all deaths that have arisen from lawful drug enforcement operations.

This shows transparency and the efforts to address alleged flaws in the campaign are in fact supported by the United Nations in its 3-year technical cooperation program with the Philippines known as the Joint Program on Human Rights that took effect in July last year.

Let these efforts of the Philippine government run their course; after all, reciprocity is a key principle in the methods of work of the ICC. To veer away from this principle will only reveal the politicization that has infiltrated the ICC’s ranks.

It is also interesting that the ICC mentions the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)’s report as basis for its call for intervention. Let it be clarified that while the CHR has recommended in said report that relevant international organizations continue monitoring the human rights situation in the country, in no part of its report did it even imply the need for direct external investigation. Surely, the CHR knows the implications of such intervention on State sovereignty, and we expect the ICC, especially Mr. Khan, to know that as well.

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