Int'l court may take over cases of killings, says CHR
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - August 23, 2016 - 5:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — The International Criminal Court (ICC) may possibly assume jurisdiction over the extrajudicial and vigilante killings of suspected drug dealers if the Philippine government fails to address the issue, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said.

"Failure of the government to address this situation currently prevailing of unexplained extrajudicial killings and providing remedies in terms of prosecution of perpetrators could result in the possibility of the ICC exercising jurisdiction over those matters if you fail to do so," CHR chairperson Chito Gascon told the Senate panel during its inquiry into drug-related killings.

Gascon noted that the Philippines must first satisfy the principle of "complementarity" under the Roman Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

This means that the ICC is a court of "last resort" and may only assume jurisdiction in case a national government fails to address international crimes.

"The ICC may only exercise jurisdiction where national legal systems fail to do so, including where they purport to act but in reality are unwilling or unable to genuinely carry out proceedings," the ICC said in its informal expert paper on the principle of complementarity in practice.

The jurisdiction of the ICC is only limited to four types of cases: war crimes, genocide, aggression and crimes against humanity.

Senators have opened an inquiry into the killings of more than 1,700 suspected drug dealers and users amid a crackdown spearheaded by Duterte, with witnesses accusing some policemen of killing suspects and being involved in the illegal drugs trade.

Gascon said that if the number of extrajudicial killings in the country will continue to increase, it may be considered as a situation of crimes against humanity.

The CHR chief explained that crimes against humanity must have widespread or systematic attacks on the civilian population.

According to Gascon, the ICC has the capacity to have motu propio jurisdiction over the Philippines which means that a complaint is not needed for it to take action over the country.

Like the United Nations, the ICC has mechanisms of monitoring concerning issues around the world, Gascon said.

RELATED: NUJP to Cayetano: Counting drug-related killings part of media’s dutyHuman Rights Watch: Drug killings demand accountability

"If these concerns are not adequately addressed then it is possible that the prosecutor will make a recommendation for assumption of jurisdiction," Gascon said.

Citing former UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings Philip Alston, Gascon clarified that casualties of crime suspects may also be considered as extrajudicial killings.

"Ang sabi po ni Philip Alston sa kanyang report ay ang extrajudicial killing ay any killing by government forces as well the killing by any other groups or individuals which the government failed to investigate, prosecute and punish when it is in a position to do so," the CHR chairperson said. — Video report by Efigenio Toledo IV

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.