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Probes target police in Philippines, Venezuela

11 February 2018

Worldwide criminal law prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the examination will be conducted in order to determine whether the ICC has jurisdiction over the matter.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a probe into President Duterte's alleged human rights violations related to his war on drugs.

The government has many times denied involvement in summary killings, saying the almost 4,000 drug suspects killed in police operations had put up violent resistance, prompting officers to defend themselves. Go ahead. It would be my pleasure to go to prison for my country.

Bensouda said prosecutors "will be engaging with the national authorities concerned with a view to discussing and assessing any relevant investigation and prosecution at the national level". "It would be a distinct honor for me, even if they don't make me a hero, to die for my country", he said a year ago after the complaint against him was filed.

Around 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by Duterte's law enforcement that has a strict campaign on drugs in the Philippines.

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About 4,000 mostly urban poor Filipinos have been killed by police in Duterte's signature campaign that has alarmed the global community.

Gascon's commission has also sought to investigate the drug war killings but has been hampered by a lack of cooperation from other government agencies like the police as well as limited resources.

"It is a case for crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials in his government", lawyer Jude Sabio said outside the court after presenting to prosecutors a 77-page file outlining the allegations.

The mission did not lead to Duterte's prosecution and Roque said the president expects the same outcome.

Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said earlier Friday he was "very confident" he will escape ICC prosecution.

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The ICC complaints came from a lawyer and two lawmakers and include the accounts of two self-confessed hit men who say they killed at Duterte's behest when he was a city mayor, and public statements he made as president that they say amounted to "shoot-to-kill" orders.

Duterte expressed frustration when speaking on extrajudicial killings during his campaign, claiming that the term could not be defined.

As for the Philippines, she said that although some drug war killings "have reportedly occurred in the context of clashes between or within gangs", it is alleged that "many of the reported incidents involved extrajudicial killings in the course of police anti-drug operations".

The president denies being behind extrajudicial killings, and has frequently lashed out at any foreign entity criticizing his drug war, be they the U.S. president, the European Union, the United Nations, or even the ICC itself.

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Probes target police in Philippines, Venezuela