Philippines will not cooperate with ICC probe into 'war on drugs

Manila, June 15, (dpa/GNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not cooperate with an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into his administration’s war on illegal drugs, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the decision by outgoing ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to seek a full investigation into the war on drugs in the Philippines is "legally erroneous and politically motivated."

Roque said the Philippines would not cooperate because they are no longer a member of the ICC and added that the country's own justice system was capable of carrying out investigations.

"We don’t need foreigners to investigate the killings in the drug war because the systems in the Philippines are working," he said, citing the conviction of police officers involved in the killing of 17-year-old boy in 2017.

Roque said the ICC has no jurisdiction to conduct an investigation because the Philippines withdrew from the body in March 2017.

Bensouda, who steps down as ICC prosecutor on Tuesday, said the tribunal can investigate crimes that occurred before the Philippines pulled out.

A preliminary examination of the situation in the Philippines showed "reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed" under the war on drugs campaign, she said in a report to the tribunal.

The killings, allegedly carried out by government security forces and vigilantes, "appear to have been committed pursuant to an official state policy," the report said.

"The total number of civilians killed in connection with the (war on drugs) between July 2016 and March 2019 appears to be between 12,000 and 30,000," it added.