ICC does not have power to probe drug war — OSG 

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

The Philippines has asked the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) pre-trial chamber to deny a request by the court’s prosecutor to reopen its probe of the Duterte government’s deadly war on drugs. 

In a statement, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said the ICC does not have jurisdiction to investigate the government for alleged “crimes against humanity.” 

“The alleged murder incidents that happened during the relevant period do not constitute ‘crimes against humanity,’ considering the said incidents do not qualify as an ‘attack’ against the civilian population,” it said. 

The Hague-based tribunal gave the Philippines until Sept. 8 to comment on the request to resume its probe of ex-President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s drug war that had killed thousands of drug suspects. 

In June, ICC Prosecutor Karim Ahmad A. Khan asked the international tribunal’s pre-trial chamber to reopen the probe since the Philippines allegedly failed to show it had investigated crimes related to the campaign. 

He said the chamber should issue an order on an “expedited basis.” It should “receive any further observations it considers appropriate from victims and the government of the Philippines,” he added. — John Victor D. Ordoñez