Colmenares: Duterte may soon face arrest for crimes against humanity
National Union of People’s Lawyers chairperson Neri Colmenares said over the weekend that President Duterte may possibly face arrest for crimes against humanity in connection with the government’s bloody war on drugs.
Colmenares issued the statement after an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor wrapped up for next year its preliminary examination on the charges filed against Filipino maverick leader.
“Once it is with the chamber, it is now possible for the prosecutor to request for the issuance of a warrant of arrest,” Colmenares said.
At the same time, Colmenares urged families of victims of extra judicial killings to come out in the open and file charges against Duterte.
” Come forward, submit evidence and tell your story so we can send these additional evidence before the prosecution decides,” he said.
Since taking office on June 30, 2016, Mr. Duterte has carried out a “war on drugs” that has led to the deaths of over 12,000 Filipinos, mostly urban poor. At least 2,555 of the killings have been attributed to the Philippine National Police.
Human Rights Watch research has found that police are falsifying evidence to justify the unlawful killings. Despite growing calls for an investigation, Duterte has vowed to continue the campaign.
Large-scale extrajudicial violence as a crime solution was a marker of Duterte’s 22-year tenure as mayor of Davao City and the cornerstone of his presidential campaign.
On the eve of his May 9, 2016 election victory, Duterte told a crowd of more than 300,000: “If I make it to the presidential palace I will do just what I did as mayor. You drug pushers, holdup men, and do-nothings, you better get out because I’ll kill you.