Manila, Philippines — At least four more “confidential communications” about President Rodrigo Duterte’s ferocious war on drugs have been filed before the International Criminal Court, Commission on Human Rights chief Chito Gascon said.
Gascon said that these communications were filed as early as 2016.
“We are aware that there are other confidential communications that have been submitted both from the Philippines—from non-governmental organizations and victims’ groups—as well as internationally submitted communications,” the CHR head said in an interview on ANC’s “Early Edition” Thursday.
One of the communications tackles the alleged violations against women and children, he added.
These “confidential communications” come on top of the separate communications filed by lawyer Jude Sabio and backed by a supplemental communication of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo party-list) in 2017 and the families of alleged victims of extrajudicial killings last August.
“The communications and other sources of information that the ICC collects will constitute the body of facts or information that will prompt them to make the decision to investigate further,” Gascon said.
The Hague-based court already launched a preliminary examination, not investigation, into Duterte’s anti-narcotics crackdown.
Last March, the administration formally sent the Philippines’ letter of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created ICC.
Despite this the Philippines remains a party to the Rome Statute as the withdrawal will only take effect a year after the date of receipt of the notification.
Human rights advocates claim there have been more than 12,000 individuals killed since Duterte launched the brutal war on drugs.
But the government has downplayed the numbers, claiming a little over 4,000 deaths in recognized law enforcement operations.