‘ICC talked to 50 PNP members on drug war’

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
�ICC talked to 50 PNP members on drug war�
In this undated file photo, police officers examine a crime scene.
Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines —  Representatives of the International Criminal Court have communicated with around 50 active and former officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in connection with the ICC’s probe into the drug war launched by former president Rodrigo Duterte, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV said yesterday.

Trillanes, a staunch critic of Duterte, based his statement on what he described as highly credible information.

“The ICC investigators have already directly communicated with more than 50 active and former PNP officials regarding their being implicated in the crimes against humanity case of Rodrigo Duterte,” Trillanes said in a post on X.

Police officials would face dire consequences should they refuse to cooperate with ICC investigators looking into the alleged human rights abuses in the course of Duterte’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs, according to the former senator and Navy officer.

“Their status would be elevated to being suspects and, therefore, would result to travel restrictions initially and eventually arrest via Interpol,” he said.

Over 6,000 drug suspects were killed in alleged shootouts with lawmen during Duterte’s term, based on government records.

Sought for comment, PNP chief information officer Col. Jean Fajardo did not confirm or deny that ICC probers have talked with some police officers.

She maintained the PNP is aware of the investigations related to the anti-drug campaign during Duterte’s presidency but said they are taking their cue from the national government, which stated the country has a working judicial system.

“We have courts that can judge abuses and irregularities within the ranks of the PNP and we have proven this as we already have policemen who were arrested, tried and convicted,” she said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum.

“So that is what PNP is going to do, it will be under the jurisdiction of the Philippines,” Fajardo added.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla reiterated yesterday that the government is “serious” in its efforts to stop extrajudicial killings (EJK) and uphold human rights.

He issued the statement in response to a 2023 report by the US Department of State that found that EJKs remained a “serious problem” in the Philippines and there were no significant changes in the country’s human rights situation.

Remulla said the government is taking steps in holding accountable erring law enforcers and to change their mindset and attitude.


Over 13,114 kilos of marijuana and shabu and 7,412,292 pieces of marijuana plants worth P32.6 billion have been seized under the administration of President Marcos, data presented by Fajardo during the news forum show.

The illegal drugs were confiscated in 87,274 police operations from July 1, 2022 to April 22, 2024.

Also included are the 1.4 tons of shabu valued at P9.68 billion intercepted in Alitagtag, Batangas, last April 15.

“This is the biggest shipment of shabu that we have seized. But not one person died. No one died, no one was shot, no one was hurt,” Marcos said at the time.

Fajardo said a holistic approach is needed to eradicate illegal drugs in the country wherein law enforcement agencies such as the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency are working together with local government units and other sectors of society.

For his part, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said that while the billions worth of drug hauls in the past two years show the success of Marcos’ campaign against illegal drugs, this shows the necessity to protect the country’s porous shorelines.

“We must protect our shorelines. We must work hand in hand with the Philippine Coast Guard. On the part of the PNP, they have the maritime patrol but those are so few,” he said.

Crime volume drop

Meanwhile, the crime volume in the country under the Marcos administration has dropped by nearly 64 percent, according to the PNP.

Fajardo said there were 71,133 focus crimes recorded from July 1, 2022 to April 21. This is lower by 63.79 percent compared to 196,420 crimes documented from July 1, 2016 to April 21, 2018, during the Duterte presidency.

Among the eight focus crimes, physical injury had the biggest decline from 41,614 to 9,229 cases, a drop of 77.82 percent.

Robbery cases went down 71.28 percent, from 30,167 to 8,664, Fajardo said.

Motorcycle theft declined 69.83 percent, from 11,428 to 3,448. Theft cases were down 66.64 percent, from 70,230 to 23,429 incidents.

Cases of murder decreased from 18,505 to 7,650, a drop of 58.66 percent.

Fajardo said car theft went down from 1,073 to 490 cases, a decrease of 54.33 percent.

Cases of homicide also decreased by 51.98 percent, from 4,236 to 2,034.

Rape cases, on the other hand, declined from 19,167 to 16,189, or a drop of 15.54 percent. – Romina Cabrera, Daphne Galvez

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