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Walang kawala! ICC to continue probe on Duterte’s drug war despite exit

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The International Criminal Court (ICC) will continue its preliminary examination on the Duterte administration’s war on drugs even if the Philippines’ exit from the tribunal has become official.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday (March 19) announced the continuation of its probe on the Philippines, a day after the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, became effective.

Citing Article 127.2 of the Rome Statute and the ICC ruling on Burundi, Bensouda said in a statement that the tribunal retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed during the time a State was a party to the statute.

This means, she said, that the ICC may exercise its jurisdiction even after the withdrawak becomes effective.

“My Office’s independent and impartial preliminary examination into the situation in the Philippines continues,” Bensouda said.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March last year after the Office of the Prosecutor announced it will commence a preliminary examination in connection with the war on drugs.

The ICC has received communications accusing Duterte of committing crimes against humanity over the war on drugs, which has resulted in the death of thousands of drug suspects.

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