MANILA, Philippines — The International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber has rejected the Philippines government’s request to suspend its investigation into the killings committed under former President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign.
“The Appeals Chamber rejects the request of the Republic of the Philippines for suspensive effect of the aforementioned decision of Pre-Trial Chamber I,” the decision released by the ICC Appeals Chamber late Monday night (Manila time) read.
This came just two weeks after the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the ICC Appeals Chamber to suspend and reverse the ruling that authorized the reopening of the investigation by the ICC prosecutor.
In its ruling, the chamber noted that, “apart from merely referring to far-reaching and inimical consequences or implications of the Prosecutor’s activities on suspects, witnesses and victims,” the country had failed to explain what those implications might be and how the Prosecutor’s investigation would result in consequences that the OSG claimed could not be corrected.
It also said that the country failed to explain “how the alleged absence of jurisdictional or legal basis for the resumption of the Prosecutor’s activities pending the resolution of the appeal would ‘defeat its very purpose and create an irreversible situation that could not be corrected’.”
The chamber then further pointed out that the country can still proceed with its local investigation even with the ongoing ICC investigation.
“Lastly, the Appeals Chamber notes that as far as national investigations are concerned, the Philippines is in a position to continue its investigations irrespective of the ongoing proceedings before the Court,” the decision signed by Presiding Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut read.
To recall, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on January 26 authorized ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to proceed with the preliminary investigation, prompting the OSG to submit a notice of appeal on Feb. 3 seeking the reversal of this decision.