Statement of the Commission on  Human Rights on the denial of the International Criminal Court of the Philippine government appeal to suspend the probe on the previous administration’s anti-drug campaign

Statement of the Commission on  Human Rights on the denial of the International Criminal Court of the Philippine government appeal to suspend the probe on the previous administration’s anti-drug campaign

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) notes the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber to deny the appeal of the Government of the Philippines meant to suspend the investigation on the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the context of the previous administration’s anti-drug campaign in the country.

From the lens of justice, CHR acknowledges the continuation of the investigation as part of the due process meant to uphold the rights of victims, as well as the accused, through a fair and impartial procedure with the end view of exacting truth and, later on, accountability from the perpetrators if and when guilt is established. 

As the country’s independent national human rights institution, CHR encourages the Government of the Philippines to view this decision as an opportunity to give better meaning to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s commitment at the onset of his presidency to ensure a “high-level of accountability” for human rights violations during his term.

CHR is willing, ready, and able to assist the government so it may better comply with its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all, especially the vulnerable and aggrieved.

It must be clarified, however, that the expected resumption of the ICC investigation into the situation in the Philippines is separate and distinct from the independent investigation of CHR on the alleged extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations linked to the previous administration’s anti-drug campaign. The result of the CHR’s investigations and our recommendations have since been shared to the Government of the Philippines through our 2022 CHR Report on Investigated Killings in relation to the Anti-Illegal Drug Campaign for their consideration and action. [1]

In this view, CHR supports the reforms pushed by this administration. We hope these efforts ultimately yield justice for the victims and better respect for the human rights and dignity for all. ###