Press Release
November 20, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1180:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the ICC Prosecutor's decision to suspend PH investigation

The decision of the ICC Prosecutor to suspend the investigative activities in the Philippines in light of the request of the Duterte government is most disappointing.

The reasons advanced by the Duterte government for the suspension of the investigation are all meant to further delay the ICC proceedings, if not for the ICC to entirely defer investigation and prosecution to the Duterte government.

The ICC Prosecutor must realize that no amount of investigation by the current government authorities will result in the meaningful and genuine prosecution of those guilty of the crimes against humanity, simply because it is these same government authorities who allowed these crimes to continue unabated by not prosecuting the killers. They are also not expected to because they directly receive their orders from the very architect of the mass murders, President Duterte.

The ICC Prosecutor must know that none of the purported domestic investigations, including the DOJ's review process conducted under the aegis of A.O. 35 targets or involves Duterte himself, the top suspect or the person most responsible for these crimes.

We still hope the ICC Prosecutor does not fall into the trap of letting those guilty of the crimes dispose of the evidence under the guise of being allowed to investigate their own crimes.

That said, I take comfort in the fact that the suspension of the ICC Prosecutor's investigative activities is merely temporary inorder to "assess the scope and effect of the Deferral Request" of the Duterte government, which, hopefully, will not take much time. We simply have to repose our trust in the Office of the ICC Prosecutor and the ICC institutional mechanisms to achieve true and complete justice for the victims of Duterte's crimes against humanity.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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