International Criminal Court

#DutertePanagutin: Netizens hail ICC investigation into Duterte’s drug war, Davao killings

Ivy Pedida

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#DutertePanagutin: Netizens hail ICC investigation into Duterte’s drug war, Davao killings
'Looking forward to the day when Duterte and his henchmen will be finally brought to justice for all the crimes they have committed and enabled,' tweets physician and medical anthropologist Gideon Lasco

From change is coming to justice is coming – this was how netizens reacted to the International Criminal Court (ICC) pre-trial chamber’s decision to open an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war and the Davao Death Squad killings. 

Social media users were quick to react, with some wondering if Duterte was well versed with the “wheelchair and neck brace method,” in reference to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who wore a neck brace and was on a wheelchair whenever she appeared in court while on trial for plunder.

Arroyo, who was later acquitted, suffered from multiple cervical spondylosis.

Twitter user @nelries_ even suggested that Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation – which has been the subject for a Senate investigation on the government’s pandemic contracts – supply neck braces and wheelchairs due to future demand driven by the ICC.

Many Filipinos welcomed the development, seeing it decision as a sign that justice is coming. Others said the decision was a long overdue retribution for the six years of suffering the Philippines experienced under Duterte rule.

Former senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillianes IV said the ICC investigation is “another step closer” to attaining justice for drug war victims and their families.

Twitter user @XtiansPanaderia also left a little reminder that voters should not elect a Duterte ally or relative as the next president in the 2022 elections.

The ICC investigation is considered a crucial stage, where summons and arrest warrants can be issued if the judges ask for them. Duterte has repeatedly lambasted the body, which the Philippines had withdrawn from, upon the President’s orders, in 2019. (READ: Things to know about Duterte’s pet peeve ICC)

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The ICC pre-trial chamber said in a document that “President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly encouraged extrajudicial killings in a way that is incompatible with a genuine law enforcement operation.”

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In 2020, newly-retired prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the pre-trial chamber for authorization to open the investigation. Bensouda was able to establish a pattern in Davao killings when Duterte was mayor up until the drug war when he was president. (READ: U.N. report: Documents suggest PH police planted guns in drug war ops)

Here’s how other netizens reacted to the ICC investigation.

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Ivy Pedida

Ivy Pedida is a digital communications specialist for Rappler’s Digital Communications arm. A shameless bandwagoner, she likes everything pop culture, whether it be the latest anime or another HBO hit. She is a furmom to five cats and one dog.