By International Criminal Court
Today, I announce that the preliminary examination into the situation in the Republic of the Philippines ("the Philippines") has concluded and that I have requested judicial authorisation to proceed with an investigation.
As I stated in December 2019, at the annual session of the Assembly of States Parties, before I end my term as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or the "Court"), I intend to reach determinations on all situations that have been under preliminary examination during my tenure, as far as I am able to do so in accordance with my obligations under the Rome Statute. In that statement, I also indicated the high likelihood that several preliminary examinations would progress to the investigative stage.
The situation in the Philippines has been under preliminary examination since 8 February 2018. During that time, my Office has been busy analysing a large amount of publicly available information and information provided to us under article 15 of the Statute. On the basis of that work, I have determined that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed on the territory of the Philippines between 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019 in the context of the Government of Philippines "war on drugs" campaign. The Office does not take a position on any government's internal policies and initiatives intended to address the production, distribution and consumption of psychoactive substances within the parameters of the law and due process of law, and in the present case, it is duly acting strictly in accordance with its specific and clearly defined mandate and obligations under the Statute. Following a thorough preliminary examination process, the available information indicates that members of the Philippine National Police, and others acting in concert with them, have unlawfully killed between several thousand and tens of thousands of civilians during that time. My Office has also reviewed information related to allegations of torture and other inhumane acts, and related events as early as 1 November 2011, the beginning of the Court's jurisdiction in the Philippines, all of which we believe require investigation.