Oct 10, 2021 @ 8:48

Why obstruct ICC probe? ‘Mahihirapan po sila to uncover the truth,’ says Roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has admitted that the Philippine government is obstructing the investigation of the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity committed in the “war on drugs” so it would be difficult to “uncover the truth.”

Asked during his October 8 briefing to respond to the statement of ICC prosecutor Karim Khan that his investigation will seek to “uncover the truth and aim to ensure accountability,” Roque confirmed explicitly what critics of President Rodrigo Duterte had been suspecting.

“Sana po, pero without the cooperation of the state, mahihirapan po sila to uncover the truth,” Roque said.

He insisted that complaints about the killings of thousands of persons on the mere suspicion of drug use should be brought before the Philippine judicial system, even if only a handful had been prosecuted.

“Ang sa akin lang naman po, kung meron talagang mga may reklamo laban sa drug war isampa po natin dito sa Pilipinas nang mabigyan kayo ng katarungan,” he said.

Duterte and officials of his administration have repeatedly stated that they would not allow foreign investigators into the country, falsely claiming that the ICC has no jurisdiction over international crimes committed before he withdrew the Philippines from the Rome Statute without the Senate’s consent effective March 17, 2019.

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