Another resolution vs ICC drug war probe filed in Senate

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Jinggoy Estrada filed on Monday another Senate resolution seeking to protect former President Rodrigo Duterte from the drug war probe of the International Criminal Court.

Senate Resolution No. 492 expresses the Senate’s “strong opposition” against ICC’s resumption of  itsinvestigation into alleged crimes against humanity filed against Duterte for his bloody drug war.

“It is hereby resolved that the Senate of the Philippines strongly opposes the decision of the ICC to resume its investigation on the crimes committed in the Philippine territory, in questioning the fully capable judicial system of the Philippines as well as disrespecting its sovereignty,” the Estrada resolution stated.

The senator pointed out that the government made efforts to review the drug war operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group.

The efforts, Estrada said, led the PNP Internal Affairs Service and the Department of Justice to file four criminal cases against abusive police officers.

“This clearly shows the commitment of our government in ensuring that erring individuals will be brought to justice,” Estrada said in a statement.

Sen. Robin Padilla has filed a similar measure.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, a long-time aide of Duterte, expressed gratitude for Padilla’s resolution.

“I thank Sen. Robinhood Padilla for his Proposed Senate Resolution No. 488 defending former president Rodrigo Duterte from investigation or prosecution by the ICC. I am most willing to be made as a co-author of said resolution,” said Go in a separate statement.

“As a senator now who was a part of the past administration, I know that then President Duterte only did his duty to provide safety to Filipinos and the future of our children,” Go said in Filipino in a separate statement.

House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, herself a former president, and 18 other representatives filed a similar resolution in the lower chamber.

Aside from Duterte, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is also accused of crimes against humanity. He was the PNP chief when the drug war was implemented in 2016.

In September 2021, the ICC launched a probe into Duterte’s drug war. But it was suspended after two months as the Philippine government said that it was looking into the allegations of extrajudicial killings and other atrocities.

In January this year, the ICC resumed its probe as it was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the Court’s investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle.”

As of April, government data showed the drug war death toll at 6,248. Human rights organizations estimate the toll to be over 20,000.