ICC prosecutor suspends probe into Philippines medicine war

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Activists just take component in a rally protesting at an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on medication, in Quezon Town, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 18, 2017. REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao/File Image

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  • Philippines requested suspension
  • Manila suggests it is carrying out its possess investigations
  • Lawyers group calls on ICC to go after probe
  • Promises of present justice mechanism absurd – Human Legal rights Watch

THE HAGUE/MANILA, Nov 20 (Reuters) – The chief prosecutor of the International Legal Courtroom (ICC) has suspended a probe at Manila’s request into suspected legal rights abuses through Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on medication.

ICC judges permitted a probein September into the marketing campaign in which 1000’s of suspected drug peddlers have died. Activists say lots of have been executed by legislation enforcement businesses with the tacit backing of the president.

Philippine authorities say the killings were in self-defence and that the ICC has no appropriate to meddle.

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Courtroom documents introduced by the ICC and confirmed by Philippine officers on Saturday confirmed that Manila filed the deferral request on Nov. 10, citing the country’s very own investigations into drug war killings.

“The prosecution has quickly suspended its investigative routines though it assesses the scope and result of the deferral request,” ICC Main Prosecutor Karim Khan wrote, introducing that it would seek out more facts from the Philippines.

Governments can request the ICC to defer a situation if they are utilizing their individual investigations and prosecutions for the exact acts.

Duterte, 76, pulled the Philippines out of the ICC in 2018and has claimed the international court docket has no jurisdiction to indict him. The ICC maintains it has jurisdiction to examine crimes committed even though Manila was a member and up until finally 2019.

The Manila ask for for the deferral follows repeated statements by the Duterte government that it would not cooperate with the ICC.

“We welcome the judiciousness of the new ICC prosecutor who has deemed it in good shape to give the issue a clean seem, and we trust that the make a difference will be fixed in favor of the exoneration of our govt and the recognition of the vibrancy of our justice method,” Karlo Nograles, performing spokesperson for Duterte, reported in a assertion on Saturday.

A Philippine lawyers group identified as on the ICC not to get rid of the glimmer of hope for people of drug-war victims.

“We check with the ICC not to permit by itself to be swayed by the promises now currently being built by the Duterte administration,” the Nationwide Union of People’s Lawyers, which signifies some victims’ people, said in a statement.

The Philippine justice procedure is “really gradual and unavailing to the majority of weak and unrepresented victims”, it reported.

Human Rights View said the government’s assert that present domestic mechanisms afford citizens justice was absurd. “Let’s hope the ICC sees through the ruse that it is,” Brad Adam, its Asia director, mentioned in a statement.


The ICC choice is a enhance for Duterte, who this 7 days introduced a run for the Senate in elections up coming 12 months. He is barred by the structure from trying to get re-election as president.

“It will of study course offer some relief in the raucous elections,” political analyst Ramon Casiple, vice president of consulting and analysis organization Novo Developments PH, explained to Reuters. “Nevertheless, it could not permit (him) to do extra immediately after the elections, especially if the incoming federal government chooses to cooperate with the ICC course of action.”

In its practically two-decade existence, the ICC has convicted five gentlemen for war crimes and crimes from humanity, all African militia leaders from Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Uganda.

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Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg in The Hague, and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne, William Mallard and Jane Wardell

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