Reports said that the ICC is expected to decide by the first half of 2021 whether to seek a formal investigation into alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous drugs, said the report of the ICC on President Duterte’s war on drugs is grossly wanting of facts and is mere propaganda.
“While the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor calls its information browsing as ‘reasonable basis’, the report seems more like a propaganda against President Duterte, who enjoys the satisfactory rating and support of more than 91 percent of the Filipinos based on the latest survey,” Barbers said.
“How can there be reasonable basis when Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda admits that she has yet to ‘open an investigation into the situation in the country in the first half on 2021”, Barbers added.
According to Barbers, Prosecutor Bensouda further admits that her study is based on ‘available information, which obviously means information provided by the complainants. Clearly the story is one-sided and the findings premature at most.
“If this is the quality of investigation that we expect from Prosecutor Bensouda, then we cannot expect justice at all. At best the report reflects her ‘reasonable bias’ against President Duterte,” Barbers added.
The preliminary examination focused on the crimes committed when President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016 until March 2019 in the context of the drug war, particularly allegations that Duterte and senior law enforcers “actively promoted and encouraged” killing suspected drug users and dealers.
Aside from the killings, the prosecutor also looked into allegations some individuals were abused prior to being killed by state forces and other unidentified assailants.
Bensouda’s office said it found basis that murder, torture, and other crimes against humanity were present in the government’s anti-drug program during the first three years of Duterte’s presidency.