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A citizens’ group welcomed the approval of a formal investigation into the drug war by President Rodrigo Duterte and the killings by the Davao death squad by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“Civil society is encouraged by the ICC’s move to authorize investigations into crimes against humanity by state actors in the Philippines were committed. This gives hope to the families of the victims that justice can still prevail, ”said Liza Maza, spokeswoman for the Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG).

The ICC is to investigate the alleged crimes committed by the Duterte government in the wake committed her drug war. Aside from the “drug war” in Duterte, the Hague-based tribunal said it would investigate the alleged summary executions that took place in Davao between 2011 and 2016.

“The pre-trial approval is a milestone in our years of perseverance and resistance to the autocracy and repression of the Duterte government. It is the direct result of the victims’ collective perseverance in seeking justice. We all look forward to holding the government accountable for their grave human rights violations, particularly extrajudicial killings, “said Maza.

The CPDG also emphasizes the importance of broad and collective unity to help victims and their families the government’s call for an end to the drug war, the “war on terrorism and the war on dissenting opinion”, especially as the human rights violations “as the 2022 elections are near.” Recalling the proclamation of martial law, it is imperative for people of all walks of life, beliefs and backgrounds to come together to stand up for truth, justice and peace and to protest against the tyranny of the current government that created the dictatorship that overthrew the people. If a former dictator is ousted through our joint efforts, it is possible to prosecute another, ”concluded Maza.

In a statement, the ICC said the investigation will cover crimes allegedly committed between Jan. November 2011 and March 2019 “as part of the so-called campaign on the war on drugs”.