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Canada calls for accountability in the review of the Drug War in the Philippines


5 February 2023

Rev. Patricia Lisson, Chairperson
ICHRP Canada

CANADA calls for accountability in the review of the drug war in the Philippines

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP Canada) welcomes Canada’s call on the Philippine government to ensure accountability in the review of the drug war.

Following the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to resume its investigation into killings under the drug war of former president Rodrigo Duterte, senior officials at the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines urged the Philippine government to uphold its commitments to international law and human rights.

“If the Philippines believes in upholding international law, including things like UNCLOS (United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea) for example, then the Philippines must also abide by international law,” the senior embassy officials told select Filipino journalists during a briefing on Wednesday,
February 1st. They noted the conclusion of the International Criminal Court that “the various domestic initiatives and proceedings, assessed collectively, do not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps in a way that would sufficiently mirror the Court’s investigation. 

On January 26, 2023 when the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I authorized its prosecutor to resume investigations on the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the course of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, saying that it is “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the Court’s investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle,” the high level tripartite mission of the International Labor Organization (ILO) also concluded its probe in the Philippines after receiving various documented cases regarding violations on working people’s rights. 

In light of the ICC’s decision to resume the investigation into the drug war killings, the findings of the ILO mission on the attacks against working people’s freedom of association and the right to organization and the continuing reports on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the International Coalition on the Philippines – Canada (ICHRP-Canada) reiterate our call on the UN Human Rights Council to conduct an independent investigation on the country’s human rights situation. We urge the Government of Canada to press more vigorously for this long-overdue investigation.