September 16, 2021
The Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) welcomes the International Criminal Court (ICC) pre-trial chamber’s decision to start investigating the countless extrajudicial killings under Pres. Duterte.
“Civil society is heartened by the ICC’s move to authorize the investigation on crimes against humanity committed by State actors in the Philippines. This gives hope to the families of victims that justice may yet prevail,” said Liza Maza, CPDG spokesperson.
The ICC is set to probe the alleged crimes committed by the Duterte administration in the course of its War on Drugs and war against dissent. The investigation will include killings that took place in Davao from November 1, 2011 until June 30, 2016.
“The authorization of the pre-trial is a landmark in our years of perseverance and push back against the Duterte administration’s autocracy and repression. It is the direct result of victims’ collective perseverance in seeking justice. We are all looking forward to holding the government accountable for its gross human rights violations, especially extrajudicial killings,” Maza explained.
CPDG highlights the importance of a broad, collective unity to support the victims and their families as well as in calling for the end of the government’s war on drugs, war on terror, and war on dissent. The latter is of utmost importance since human rights violations against human rights defenders are escalating as the 2022 elections near and the desperation of the administration grows. Two people’s lawyers have been killed in the past month—Atty. Rex Fernandez on August 26 and Atty. Juan Macababbad on September 15. Human rights activists and defenders continue to be subjected to attacks and other rights violations.
“As the country remembers the declaration of Martial Law it is imperative for people from all walks of life, creeds, and affiliations to come together and stand up for truth, justice, and peace, and to protest the current government’s tyranny which echoes the dictatorship the people overthrew. If a past dictator was deposed through our collective efforts, then it is possible to prosecute another one,” Maza added. #