The International Criminal Court (ICC) can begin a preliminary investigation on President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes in opposition to humanity if his allies throw out the impeachment criticism filed in opposition to him by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, the New York Times stated.

In its scathing April 25 editorial, the Times urged the ICC to probe Duterte even because it acknowledged the challenges of taking a look at allegations of mass homicide in opposition to a President who’s broadly well-liked in the Philippines.

“There are reasons why the I.C.C. might be reluctant to go after Mr. Duterte. He is enormously popular with many Filipinos, for whom narcotics are a major scourge. The court, moreover, was created to prosecute cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes among member countries only when their national courts are unwilling or unable to do so,” it stated.

The Times, nevertheless, stated the ICC could also be pushed to act if Duterte survives the impeachment disaster.

“Those conditions might be met if the Philippines House of Representatives, dominated by Mr. Duterte’s allies, quashes, as expected, an impeachment motion filed by an opposition lawyer,” it stated.

The paper revealed its editorial on the heels of lawyer Jude Sabio’s submitting of a communication earlier than the Hague-based tribunal asking it to investigate Duterte for crimes in opposition to humanity.

In explicit, Sabio accused the President of getting a hand in the deaths of over 9,000 suspected criminals and political enemies from the time he was mayor till he assumed workplace final yr.

Even with out Sabio’s detailed account of Duterte’s alleged offense, the Times stated ICC has “more than enough evidence” for its preliminary investigation on the President: the reviews on extrajudicial killings by the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and politicians, or the confessions of the previous death squad members.

Duterte’s personal statements on killing criminals, akin to his notorious remarks that he might be “happy to slaughter” three million drug addicts, can even be used in opposition to him.

The Times stated an investigation by the ICC “would send an unmistakable signal to Mr. Duterte that he may eventually have to answer for his crimes, and would encourage governments to take measures against him, such as imposing tariffs on Philippine goods.”