Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the President’s order to the police and military to refuse investigation by international bodies

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the President’s order to the police and military to refuse investigation by international bodies

Press Statement | 2 March 2018

We are a nation of laws and we give primacy to the rule of law. As a signatory to various treaties, the challenge for the administration is to demonstrate its commitment and sincerity in fulfilling its treaty obligations and, in the course, show transparency in investigating human rights violations so that perpetrators are brought to justice and for the world to see that there is recourse for victims under our justice system.


Under the Principle of Complementarity, in particular, Article 17 of the Rome Statute, the International Criminal Court can investigate only if a state is genuinely unable or unwilling (emphasis added) to investigate or prosecute. As a court of ‘last resort’, the ICC can only exercise jurisdiction if the government fails to address the extrajudicial killings adequately, genuinely, and seriously.

 

Hence, the Commission is calling on the government especially the security sector, the prosecutors, and the judges to ensure that the rule of law still prevails and justice is dispensed with haste. Transparency, fairness, and due process must be paramount in the investigation and prosecution of cases. This will be for the benefit of the state as it will show the international community that the Philippine justice system can be depended on and is working. Thus, there will be no reason for the ICC to step in. ■

 

 

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