MANILA, Philippines — The Chief of the Philippine National Police said on Sunday that it would follow the “chain of command” after the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request for judicial authorisation to investigate the Duterte administation’s war on drugs.
President Rodrigo Duterte during his term of office until 2022 will never cooperate with the ICC on any investigation into killings under his drug war, Malacañang earlier said.
“Opo, ang PNP is an organization na meron kaming chain of command,” PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo when asked if the police would cooperate should the ICC probe is given authorization.
(Yes, the PNP is an organization with a chain of command.)
“‘Yan ay usapin na international, at ang Department of Foreign Affairs ay nakatutok po dyan. Sa amin po sa kapulisan, ako po, mag-concentrate lang dito sa trabaho natin… At kung merong violation, kami po ay may sariling mechanism para i-sanction siya.”
(This is an international issue, and the Department of Foreign Affairs is on it. The police will concentrate on our jobs… If there’s a violation, we have our own mechanism to penalize erring policemen.)
Eleazar also said that the government does not sanction state-sponsored killings.
“Wala kaming policy na pumatay o saktan ang sinuman kung hindi ito base sa self-defense. ‘Yun ang ating policy at batas na ‘pag nag-violate, pananagutan natin. Hindi natin tino-tolerate yan.”
(We have no policy to kill or hurt others if not based on self-defense. That’s our policy and law that if we violate, we would have to be accountable. We don’t tolerate this.)
According to Fatou Bensouda’s statement, “available information indicates that members of the Philippine National Police, and others acting in concert with them, have unlawfully killed between several thousand and tens of thousands of civilians.
The PNP had placed the drug war’s death toll at over 7,000, however, according to the ICC prosecutor, around 12,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed from July 2016 to March 2019 in connection with the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.
Authorities said suspects slain in drug operations had violently resisted arrest, prompting police to defend themselves. But critics believe the state is behind cases of summary killings.
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