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The adage that “crime does not pay” may finally catch up with President Rodrigo Duterte after the International Criminal Court (ICC) approved the full investigation of crimes against humanity and other heinous offenses consequent to Duterte’s horrific war against drugs. 

Duterte’s centerpiece program of eliminating the drug menace has degenerated into a killing field of drug suspects who invariably come from the marginalized and disadvantaged sectors. 

No less than the government’s count admits that about 7,000 had been killed in the bloody campaign against narcotics, while local and international human rights organizations record close to 30,000 victims of related extra-judicial killings (EJKs). 

The thorough investigation will cover offenses committed between Nov. 1, 2011, when the Philippines ratified the Rome Statute creating the ICC, and March 16, 2019, when the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute became effective.

The ICC’s go-signal for the comprehensive investigation comes in the heels of the Supreme Court unanimous decision that Duterte cannot escape the ICC’s jurisdiction by invoking the Philippines’ withdrawal before it became effective.