[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) expressed concern [statement] over the rising occurrence of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines in connection with the ongoing war on drugs encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte [official website]. Duterte has continued to draw international criticism [AP report] for promoting mass violence towards alleged drug dealers contrary to humanitarian standards. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] denounced Philippine officials for condoning such lethal force against civilians. Bensouda further stressed that the Philippines is a state party to the ICC, and any Filipino who participates in mass violence within the court’s jurisdiction may be subject to prosecution. The ICC plans to continue monitoring the country’s activities and will determine whether to launch a preliminary investigation.
Duterte took the presidential office in May after promising [WSJ report] the Filipino population that he would aggressively crackdown on corruption and crime. During his campaign, Duterte declared [Guardian report] that 100,000 people would die in his crackdown on crime. Since Duterte has taken office, over 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed and 600,000 have surrendered to the police. Earlier this month, he declared [JURIST report] a “state of lawlessness” in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars. In August, Duterte named [JURIST report] 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation’s illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte has stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Also in August, Duterte threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs. Earlier this month the UN condemned [JURIST report] remarks made by Duterte comparing his war on drugs to the genocide of Jews by Hitler.