Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano on Tuesday told the UN Human Rights Council that the deadly war on drugs was meant to save Filipino lives from the scourge of illegal drugs. He thinks the world is hearing this for the first time. But the same argument was also used by a dictator forty years ago, except at that time, it was to save the country from “communists”.
Cayetano’s feigned alarm about the Philippines turning into a narco-state started with 1.8 million drug users according to the Dangerous Drugs Board (2015), then increased to 4 million within President Duterte’s first year in office; new players have joined the illegal drugs trade in Cebu ; drug trade by the Muntinlupa prison drug lords have resumed ; the president’s son has been linked to a new shipment of P6.4 billion worth of shabu; and the drug related charges against an opposition Senator who is in prison have been downgraded for lack of evidence. 
Crafted by a Congress that propped up the failed war on drugs, extended martial law in Mindanao, legislated TRAIN, reintroduced death penalty, lowered the age of criminal responsibility of children, pushed for the term extension of President Duterte and applauded his misogynist jokes, the new draft Constitution spells further political and economic crises for the Philippines.
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement welcomes the decision of the ICC Prosecutor to conduct a preliminary investigation into EJKs under the government’s war on illegal drugs. iDEFEND considers it as a critical opportunity for government to seriously re-asses its violent approach to the drugs issue in the country and to finally abandon the current war on drugs.
The Philippines ratified the ICC Statute on August 30, 2011, giving the ICC jurisdiction over defined crimes as well as committing its full cooperation in the enforcement of the Court’s duties. Prior to this the Philippines had actively participated in the drafting of its Statute (Rome Statute), defining the crimes under the ICC jurisdiction (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, crimes of aggression), and influencing other Asian states to ratify the same.
On a platform of change Duterte won the Presidency. More than one year into his term, change only came in the form of deeper poverty and corruption, betrayed hopes and political suppression.
From the promises of eliminating drug trafficking, crime, corruption, ending contractualization, demolitions, ending environmental destruction, oligarchy, and the decades old war with the CPP-NPA rebels, nothing has been fulfilled except the persecution of political opponents, destruction of democratic institutions, undermining of due process, fake news, twisted values and renewed war.