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Claim: The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued summons to former president Rodrigo Duterte in relation to its investigation into the killings under the bloody drug war.
Why we fact-checked this: As of writing, the YouTube video bearing the claim has gained 17,563 views, 493 likes, and 100 comments.
The video’s title reads: “NAKU PO! GRABE NANGYARI KAY DIGONG PINATAWAG NASA ICC INTERVIEW NAKUHA NA! PBBM Umaksyon na VPSARA.”
(Oh my goodness! Something happened to Digong. He was summoned by the ICC. His interview has been received! PBBM and VP SARA have taken action.)
The bottom line: The ICC has not issued any statements confirming that it summoned Duterte over the drug war investigations. The video merely showed the narrator reacting to and sharing insights on a video focusing on Duterte’s October 10 interview with Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), which has since been removed.
While talking about the confidential funds sought by his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, Duterte said he used intelligence funds to carry out killings in Davao City when he was a mayor. “Ang intelligence fund, binili ko, pinapatay ko lahat. Kaya ganun ang Davao. ‘Yung mga kasama ninyo pinatigok ko talaga. ‘Yun ang totoo.”
(I acquired the intelligence fund and had everyone killed. That’s why Davao is the way it is. I really eliminated those who were with you. That’s the truth.)
Following this disclosure, lawmakers under the Makabayan bloc have called on the Marcos administration to cooperate with the ICC’s probe.
“With former President Rodrigo Duterte’s televised admission of ordering extrajudicial killings and financing them with his confidential and intelligence funds, it is imperative that we allow the ICC to investigate his crimes,” ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said.
Former senator and Magdalo group chairperson Antonio Trillanes IV said they have sent a copy of the interview to the ICC as evidence against the former president. On October 17, Trillanes said the Netherlands-based tribunal acknowledged receipt of the video.
War on drugs: In 2018, then-ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into the drug war killings under the Duterte administration. Under the bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, at least 6,252 individuals were killed in police operations as of May 2022, while human rights groups estimate that between 27,000 to 30,000 people were killed in vigilante-style executions.
In November 2021, the ICC paused its investigations to review the Philippines’ request to defer to the Philippine government in conducting the probe. (TIMELINE: The International Criminal Court and Duterte’s bloody war on drugs)
On July 18, 2023, the ICC rejected the Philippine government’s appeal, which meant the continuation of the probe into drug war-related killings and the alleged death squad in Davao City. Families of the victims welcomed the decision, saying they felt “closer to justice” following the ruling. – Andrei Santos/Rappler.com
Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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