Faced with a looming international investigation into drug war killings, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told fellow world leaders that he has ordered a review of the conduct of his widely criticised anti-drug campaign.
“The law applies to all. I have instructed the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police to review the conduct of our campaign against illegal drugs,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded speech which was played before the 76th UN General Assembly on September 22.
“Those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws,” he added.
Duterte made this assurance after a pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has authorised the start of the probe into the crimes against humanity cases filed against him in connection with drug war killings.
Complaints against Duterte for his bloody drug war were filed by several rights groups and sectors critical of his anti-illegal drugs campaign like the Rise Up for Life and Rights, which is composed of drug war victims’ relatives and other rights advocates.
According to the group, Duterte has violated Article 7 of the Rome Statute for “widespread and systematic attacks in the form of murder of thousands of civilians”.
Malacanang Presidential Palace, for its part, earlier said the ICC’s investigation on the Duterte administration’s war on drugs is unlikely to move forward as the Philippine government won’t cooperate.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK