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Lawmakers yesterday asked President Duterte to seriously take the warning made by the International Criminal Court that it would closely follow developments after it recently branded as worrisome the reported extra-judicial killings of more than 3,000 drug dealers and users in the country.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, an ally of Duterte, and Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque, a member of the House minority bloc, said the Philippine government should take note of the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s statement in The Hague that they may step in the extra-judicial killings of drug suspects in the Philippines if they are committed in pursuing State policy.
“I’m sure the President will cooperate and certainly help in the investigation of the ICC in order to determine the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and eventually put them to justice. But we should not stop and lose the momentum in the war against drugs, otherwise, all the initial gains will be wasted,” Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said.
Roque urged the President to relentlessly conduct an investigation into the so-called summary executions of drug suspects as he warned the Chief Executive against continuing his “verbal abuse” spree.
“The President should be more careful with his language and should investigate and punish the killers. He should not take the warning lightly,” he said.
House Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu also asked the Chief Executive to exercise caution in handling its war on illegal drugs. “President Duterte should not be affected by the roadblocks in his war against corruption, criminality, and drugs, which, after all, are within the bounds of law. Though he should also proceed with caution,” Abu said. (Charissa M. Luci)