February 24, 2023
MANILA – Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Thursday told visiting members of the European Parliament that the government is willing and able to prosecute violations of human and civil rights, including the more than 8,000 killings perpetrated during the Duterte administration.
“I told them that we’re fixing the system. If the [International Criminal Court] really has a problem that they want to investigate, just leave it to us, we’ll handle it ourselves,” Remulla told reporters.
“These are crimes committed in the Philippines, by Filipinos, right? We’ll be the one to handle it,” Remulla said. “I told them we can do it, we can finish these cases. We don’t need that. No one among them reacted.”
The justice secretary was referring to the more than 8,000 killings that the Philippine National Police admitted to have happened during the Duterte administration’s antidrug war. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully prosecuted only two of the 8,000 cases.
Remulla said the case of detained former Sen. Leila de Lima was also discussed.
“I told them that we already offered to back channel before, but there was no response. So we’re hoping that it will end soon. We just want to end things properly. Leila has been there for six years… probably it might be good for the court, we will not oppose it,” the justice secretary said.