The Philippines will not cooperate with any investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague into the drug war in the Asian country, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said.
The investigation focuses on the controversial way in which the government handles drug crime.
The outgoing chief prosecutor of the ICC wants a full investigation because there is sufficient reason to believe that crimes against humanity have taken place after preliminary investigations. Tens of thousands of civilians may have been executed without trial since Duterte took office in 2016.
“We will not cooperate because we are no longer a member,” said the spokesman about the criminal court. The Philippines cancelled their membership in March 2018, but under the ICC statutes, it is possible to investigate issues that occurred while a country was still a member or up to a year after that. Whether further investigation will be conducted depends on the new chief prosecutor, who will be sworn in on Wednesday.
Duterte’s spokesman says the Philippines does not “need foreigners” to investigate the murders in the drug war because the justice system would function well at home. He also states that a formal investigation is “legally incorrect and politically motivated”.