And if ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda finds enough evidence – andfollowing precedents –at the earliest, formal charges for international crimes may be brought, and an arrest warrant issued, against President Duterte and key officials of his deadly tokhang campaign by the end of next year.
But it will really all depend on evidence showing that Philippine authorities failed to discharge its duty under the principle of complementarity to investigate and prosecutethose behind thousands of alleged extralegal killings connected to the drug war.
“During 2020,” said Bensouda in a December 5 Report, “the Office will aim to finalise the preliminary examination (PE) in order to enable the Prosecutor to reach a decision on whether to seek authorisation to open an investigation into the situation in the Philippines.”
President Duterte is accused of being the architect behind what is alleged to be a systematic and widespread targeting of civilians in the drug war that has claimed upwards of 30,000 people, according to human rights activists. Philippine authorities dispute both the numbers and the characterization of the deaths as extrajudicial or extralegal killings.
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