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Victims and their families will engage a justice system that they can trust- iDEFEND

2021 VPRS Report

Monday, 30 August 2021

The report of the ICC registry indicating an overwhelming support of victims and their families towards an investigation into the war on drugs by the International Criminal Court, proves the lack of credibility of the Philippine system to provide justice to more than thirty thousand cases of extrajudicial killings in the country.

According to the Victims’ Participation and Reparations Section of the registry, there had been more than 200 submissions to the ICC supporting the request of the prosecutor to launch a formal investigation into the human rights violations in the country. The VPRS cited that some reasons given by the victims are the reign of impunity entrenched by the President, the unending trauma that they endure, and their conviction that their relatives did not fight back against authorities.

The statements given by the victims and their families clearly demonstrate that these brave souls have not been silenced, and they continue to seek accountability if they are genuinely seen and heard. The evidence they can provide would be vital in any independent investigation and possible prosecution.

Victims also said they wanted the following crimes investigated by the ICC: murder; attempted murder; imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty; rape and other forms of sexual violence; enforced disappearance of persons, torture and other inhumane acts. They claimed these were committed by the police as well as “unidentified men usually wearing civilian clothes, bonnets, masks and who, in a number of cases, rode in tandem when committing the alleged crime.”

iDEFEND stands with the victims and their families, and looks forward to the day Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his criminal associates are brought before the Court, prosecuted for crimes against humanity and finally convicted.

The VPRS report can be read here