Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally requested authorization to open the investigation on Duterte regime’s “war on drugs” in response to victims’ complaints. Bensouda retired on June 15 and was replaced by Kharim Khan who will take over the case.
This is the second stage in the trial process of the ICC on criminal complaints. The preliminary examinations (first stage) has been completed and Bensouda stated that “there is reasonable basis” to believe that the crime against humanity of murder has been committed between July 16, 2016 (Rodrigo Duterte’s first day in power) and March 16, 2019 (day when the Philippines left the ICC) in the context of the regime’s “war on drugs.”
According to Bensouda, the ICC has the authority to probe the crimes perpetrated by the regime when the country was still its member before formally leaving 2019.
The ICC has the jurisdiction to try individuals charged with four types of crimes—genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression committed by member countries. The next stage after the investigation is the pre-trial stage, followed by the trial stage, appeals stage and the enforcement of sentence.