An investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the past administration’s infamous war on drugs that allegedly resulted in thousands of killings and human rights abuses “should be welcome,” the former President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.
According to Bishop Socrates Villegas, allowing the investigators to probe the drug war is “an act of sovereignty,” which could vindicate victims denied by the “processes of law.”
“If we have faith in ourselves and in our institutions, then we should not hesitate about allowing officials of the International Criminal Tribunal to see for themselves that we are able to bring the culpable before the Bar of Justice,” he said in a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.
In June 2022, ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan confirmed he would investigate former President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged “crimes against humanity” in the drug war.
The Philippines government has filed an appeal to block the investigation, but was rejected by ICC in July this year.
“Our sense of nationhood cannot be so fragile that it cannot allow the entry of persons clothed with international authority to make a determination for themselves that our agencies of law enforcement and prosecution are willing and able to prosecute and to try persons responsible for what can only be characterized as truly heinous assaults on human life,” said Villegas.
Villegas reasoned that his support to the investigation is because the Church always “strives after and cherishes the truth.”
“Truth has never destroyed a nation. It is falsehood that has been the undoing of many peoples,” he said.