Roque: DOJ drug war probe absolves President Duterte 

Duterte is currently facing an investigation from the International Criminal Court over the alleged killings of thousands of drug suspects in the country. 
Duterte war on drugs
In this Sept. 5, 2016, file photo, the body of alleged drug user Marcelo Salvador lies on the pavement after being shot by unidentified men in Las Piñas. (AP/Aaron Favila)

Malacañang said the results of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) probe on 52 police anti-drug operations “cleared” President Rodrigo R. Duterte of allegations that he is tolerating extrajudicial killings. 

In an online forum last Wednesday, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte’s instruction to the DOJ to probe the said cases absolves him of “command responsibility,” over the said illegal activities. 

“The most important element of culpability of command responsibility is that the person knew that crimes were being committed and did not do anything to prevent these crimes from being committed or did not do anything to investigate and punish the perpetrator thereof,” Roque said. 

Duterte is currently facing an investigation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the alleged killings of thousands of drug suspects in the country. 

He repeatedly said he will not cooperate with the ICC over the said probe insisting the said cases are a domestic matter.   

Following the ICC decision, Duterte announced the DOJ is already conducting an investigation into some of the alleged drug-related deaths. 

Last Tuesday, DOJ said it is ready to publicly disclose the details of the 52 cases which involve at least 154 policemen. 

“I commend the DOJ because it shows that the state is fulfilling its obligation to protect and promote the right to life because the state obligation, whenever there is a violation of the right to life, is to accord to the victims a domestic remedy,” Roque said. 

“This could be done through the filing of cases to ensure that guilty individuals will be prosecuted and punished for their acts,” he added.

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