Philippine justice system

WATCH: War crimes in Myanmar to be tried in the Philippines?

Lian Buan
WATCH: War crimes in Myanmar to be tried in the Philippines?
It's not guaranteed, but if the Philippines takes on the case, it could bode well for the pursuit of justice for grave crimes committed locally

MANILA, Philippines – Five natives of Myanmar sued their military junta for war crimes over the torching of their houses and killing of their families in the besieged Chin state. They lodged their complaint before Philippine prosecutors Wednesday, October 25.

The complainants are asking Philippine officials to assume universal jurisdiction over the alleged crimes committed 1,800 miles away from Manila.

Universal jurisdiction is a legal concept that obliges all nations to solve the gravest crimes on the planet, based on the rationale that everyone shares the same equal duties to humanity.

However, the Philippines’ International Humanitarian Law (IHL), enacted in 2009, does not explicitly say that the country assumes universal jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide, and other crimes against humanity. But if the Philippines does assume jurisdiction and take on the case, it could lead the judiciary to consider and pursue similar cases. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.