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Duterte Tells Rights Groups: Take a 'Deeper Look' into Drug War

As ICC seeks full probe into drug war killings.
by Pia Regalado
Just now
Photo/s: PCOO/Malacanang photo

President Rodrigo Duterte said his drug war deserved a "deeper look" after the International Criminal Court sought a full investigation into unlawful killings linked to his centerpiece campaign.

Duterte said those were killed fought back against arresting authorities. It's the reasoning provided by policemen who fire at drug suspects during the campaign that is now on its fifth year.

"Nakikiusap ako sa mga human rights, kindly take a deeper look into the drug situation. You would notice that there are really persons who die almost daily because ‘yan ito lumaban talaga at hindi kasali ang pulis ko na may tama at namatay rin."

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the ICC to investigate allegations that police unlawfully killed civilians in the drug war from 2016 to 2019, before the Philippines left the ICC. Bensouda said the ICC could still investigate crimes committed while the country was a member.

From June 6 to 13, 1,576 drug personalities were arrested while 12 died during anti-illegal drug operations, Interior Sec. Eduardo Año told Duterte during a taped Cabinet meeting aired on Monday night. About P1.2 billion worth of drugs was seized during the operations, he said.

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"Nakita mo namang negosyo na ‘yan. Nakikita na ninyo ang negosyo kaya kung ayaw ninyong tumulong, huwag na kayong magsige takot diyan na takut-takutin ‘yang mga pulis na demanda-demanda, opening of records," Duterte told human rights groups.

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He warned drug personalities: "Do not destroy the youth of the land... Sirain mo ang buhay nila, sirain kita. Ganoon 'yan eh. I will kill you para tapos na ang problema."

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who filed a communication with the ICC on Duterte's drug war, applauded Bensouda's move.

"This is another monumental step towards justice for all the families of victims of EJKs. The long arm of the law will soon catch up with Duterte and his accomplices," he said on Twitter.

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