Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra described President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs as “very successful,” but admitted that the enforcers committed excesses in carrying out the operations.
At the same time, Guevarra said there was no need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to intervene in the issue of abuses by the police in running after the drug traffickers, saying the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already initiated its own investigation and prosecution of the alleged excesses.
“There are really so many drug syndicates prosecuted because of this campaign,” Guevarra said, during the online “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” forum on Wednesday.
There has been a reduction of illegal drugs in the streets, he added.
“I think you will agree that people now feel a bit safer being on the streets even at night,” he said.
The Justice Secretary noted that the issue of excesses committed by law enforcers “has been brought to the attention of even international organizations like the UN (United Nations) Commission on Human Rights Council.”
“So that is why the DOJ led a campaign for the abuses in the enforcement of the implementation of our campaign against illegal drugs can also be addressed,” Guevarra stressed.
Because of this, it is no longer necessary for the ICC to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed during the drug war of the Duterte administration, he said.
“That is what we are telling the ICC that domestic mechanisms are functioning,” he stressed. As a matter of fact, he added, a number of law enforcement officers even got convicted in the process.
Should the ICC proceed with its investigation, Guevarra believes that the probe will not be focused on just Duterte.
“The President himself is not the main target of the ICC. It’s really the alleged crime against humanity as manifested in the campaign against illegal drugs,” he explained.
“To determine who were those responsible for that (alleged crime against humanity),” he said.