MANILA—The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday urged the Marcos Jr. administration to welcome the International Criminal Court's decision to resume its probe into the violent drug war launched by the previous administration.
In a statement, the CHR said the current administration "should view the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber decision as an opportunity to fulfill President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s earlier commitment in ensuring a 'high-level of accountability' for human issues and violations during his term."
"Let this development be a chance for the Philippines to demonstrate openness and transparency as part of the fraternity of nations that values human rights and the rule of law," the commission said.
The CHR expressed its "openness and willingness to assist the present administration in upholding the rights and dignity of all."
"We have since shared CHR's recommendations and ways forward to the Philippine government through our 2022 CHR Report on investigated killings in relation to the anti-illegal drug campaign," it said.
"The ICC investigation is an opportune occasion for the present government to take the right track in upholding its human rights obligations, especially for those wronged and violated," the commission added.
In a statement dated Jan. 26, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) said it approved ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan's request to continue its probe since Manila's efforts to investigate and prosecute the alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines were not satisfactory.
International rights group Human Rights Watch praised the ICC's decision, saying the ICC investigation "is the only credible avenue for justice for the victims and their families of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous war on drugs."
"As the court’s judges agreed, Philippine authorities are not 'undertaking relevant investigations' into these crimes or 'making a real or genuine effort' to carry these investigations out. The ICC offers a path forward to fill the accountability vacuum," it said.
The Philippine government said it will appeal the ICC's decision to reopen the investigation into Duterte's brutal anti-drug campaign—which left thousands dead—and killings in Davao City from November 2011 to June 2016, when the former President served both as mayor and vice mayor.