MALACAÑANG yesterday reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to be investigated by any body in connection with the spate of killings being linked to his war on drugs.
The Palace reacted to statements of International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who expressed concern on the increasing number of drug-related killings in the Philippines.
Bensouda warned that “any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing... to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable for prosecution before the Court.”
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said in his press statement that Duterte is open to any investigation.
“In any case, the President has articulated that he is willing to submit himself for an investigation before any body,” Andanar said.
Duterte has sent a formal invitation to United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard to visit the Philippines and investigate his war on drugs, on the condition that he should be allowed to ask the UN investigators questions in return.
In his statement, Andanar stressed that the drug-related killings in the country were not state-sanctioned, while many of those who died were part of legitimate police work.
“Drug-related killings, including vigilante killings, are not State-sanctioned. Many of those who died were killed during legitimate police operations which are currently undergoing investigation as directed by the President,” he said.
Andanar also said that even the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, concluded that there was no proof to link the drug-related deaths to the government.