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Communication and Complaint

Situation in the Philippines


Office of the Prosecutor
The International Criminal Court
The Hague, The Netherlands


Republic of the Philippines
Malacañan Palace, Manila


1. Rise Up for Life and for Rights, a network of church people, human rights
advocates and the victims and families of the affected communities in the
Philippines working in defense of life and protection of human rights particularly
against drug-related killings

2. Irma J. Locasia, mother of Salvador J. Locasia, Jr. killed in a police operation on

August 31, 2016

3. Dennise B. David, father of John Jezreel T. David killed in a police operation on

January 20, 2017

4. Maria C. B. Lozano, sister of Crisanto and Juan Carlos B. Lozano both killed in a
police operation on May 12, 2017

5. Mariel F. Sabangan, sister of Bernabe F. Sabangan killed alongside Arnold S.

Vitales in a police operation on May 15, 2017

6. Normita B. Lopez, mother of Djastin B. Lopez killed in a police operation on May

18, 2017

7. Purisima B. Dacumos, wife of Danilo G. Dacumos killed in a police operation on

August 3, 2017

Legal Representatives of the Victims : The National Union of Peoples‘

Lawyers (NUPL)
3rd Floor, Erythrina Building
1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
Central District, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone number: +63 (2) 9206660
Email address: nupl2007@gmail.com
Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Madam Prosecutor Bensouda,

This Communication and Complaint is filed with the Office of the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court charging the President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa
Duterte with committing Crimes Against Humanity under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court for:

I. the acts of Murder under Article 7, paragraph 1 (a) for the extra-judicial killings of
thousands of Filipinos; and
II. other Inhumane Acts under Article 7, paragraph 1 (k) for causing great suffering to
the victims and their families.

Crimes against humanity are core crimes that are considered to be ―the most
serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole‖.1 Such crimes are
being committed in the Philippines, on a daily basis since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
took office, under his so-called ―war on drugs‖ and the alleged campaign against


Complainants are families of the victims of drug-related killings in the Philippines

and a human rights organization who assert that President Duterte is guilty of Crimes
against Humanity, specifically murder and other inhumane acts constituted by:

i. Widespread and systematic attacks against civilians in the form of murder of

thousands of civilians proscribed under Article 7, paragraph (a) of the Rome
Statute through his publicly-pronounced policy against drug suspects, through
police directives Oplan Double Barrel, Oplan Tokhang2, Oplan Double Barrel
Alpha, and Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded, resulting in the death of at least
4,410 persons in police operations (as of July 31, 2018) to up to 23,000
since he assumed office on June 30, 2016; and
ii. Widespread and systematic attacks against civilians in the form of inhumane
acts intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or mental or
physical health proscribed under Article 7, paragraph (k) of the Rome Statute
under his anti-drug policy and anti-criminality campaign including Oplan
Double Barrel and its permutations, and Oplan Tokhang.

Complainants aver that President Duterte is guilty of crimes against humanity,

within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, for the above acts:

A. President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally responsible and liable for the above
mentioned murders, and other inhumane acts, under Article 25, paragraphs 2
and 3 of the Rome Statute being the most senior leader and most responsible for
these crimes.

1Article 5, Rome Statute

2The word is a portmanteau of ―toktok‖and ―hangyo‖ the Visayan terms for knock and plead. ―Tokhang‖ is
nominally one aspect of the Duterte campaign, but has become largely synonymous to the drug war. As
such, colloquially ―na-tokhang‖ means to be a killed, arrested, or in anyway affected by the ―war on drugs‖.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

B. President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally responsible, under the principle of

command responsibility under Article 28, paragraphs (a) and (b), being the
commander and superior authority over the police and other state security forces
who committed the above mentioned acts of murder, inhumane acts, and other
forms of persecution in the implementation of his policy against suspected drug
and crime suspects.


Herein Communication and Complaint satisfies the requirement of admissibility

under Article 17 of the Rome Statute.

Article 17 (paragraph 1) states:

Having regard to paragraph 10 of the Preamble and article 1, the Court

shall determine that a case is inadmissible where:
(a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has
jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely
to carry out the investigation or prosecution;
(b) The case has been investigated by a State which has jurisdiction
over it and the State has decided not to prosecute the person
concerned, unless the decision resulted from the unwillingness or
inability of the State genuinely to prosecute;
(c) The person concerned has already been tried for conduct which is
the subject of the complaint, and a trial by the Court is not permitted
under Article 20, paragraph 3;
(d) The case is not of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the

Complainants aver that that they have fulfilled the admissibility requirements
under Article 17 of the Rome Statute.

Firstly, the extra-judicial killings, mass arrests, and other inhumane acts
committed by and under President Duterte, whether 4,410 killed as claimed by the
Philippine government or 23,000 as claimed by human rights and media groups, the
mass murder and rights violations are so grievous and so heinous that is of sufficient
gravity to justify further action of the Court.

Secondly, President Duterte is not being investigated or prosecuted and he has

not been previously investigated or prosecuted for the extra-judicial killings that he
ordered and allowed to persist during the period of his presidency, nor has he been
previously tried for conduct which is subject of the complaint. Ne bis in idem under
Article 20, paragraph 3 does not apply to his conduct which is the subject of herein

Complementarity is not a divesting of jurisdiction but merely a deferral should a

state court have jurisdiction and is genuinely able to investigate or prosecute. The rule is
that the jurisdiction of the ICC is concurrent with domestic courts; however, should a
domestic court take cognizance of a case over the same subject matter and same

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

persons, the ICC will defer the exercise of its jurisdiction. 3 But the Philippine judicial
system is not prosecuting President Duterte for these killings. Considering that herein
Complaint has satisfied the requirements of admissibility under Article 17, herein
Complaint is admissible in relation to the principles of Complementarity.

Thirdly, Complainants wish to add that the Philippine justice system is unable to
prosecute President Duterte because presidents are expressly immune from suit under
the Philippine justice system. The Philippine Supreme Court reiterated this doctrine in the
case of Randolf David v. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo4 that:

―Incidentally, it is not proper to implead President Arroyo as

respondent. Settled is the doctrine that the President, during his tenure of
office or actual incumbency, may not be sued in any civil or criminal case,
and there is no need to provide for it in the Constitution or law. It will
degrade the dignity of the high office of the President, the Head of State, if
he can be dragged into court litigations while serving as
such. Furthermore, it is important that he be freed from any form of
harassment, hindrance or distraction to enable him to fully attend to the
performance of his official duties and functions. Unlike the legislative and
judicial branch, only one constitutes the executive branch and anything
which impairs his usefulness in the discharge of the many great and
important duties imposed upon him by the Constitution necessarily
impairs the operation of the Government.‖ (underscoring supplied)

In fact, President Duterte through the Communications Secretary under the Office
of the President has officially claimed that he is immune from suit:

―The President enjoys immunity while in office and the Ombudsman,

although she may investigate, [she] cannot discipline or remove a sitting
President," Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said in a
statement. 5

Even the domestic law on crimes of international character, The Philippine Act on
Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against
Humanity of 2009, states that the President is immune from prosecution of crimes
against humanity.6

3 The Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes
Against Humanity, Republic Act No. 9851 (2009). Official copy is available at:
4 David v. Arroyo, Philippine Supreme Court G.R. No. 171396, May 3, 2006.
5 Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas, Palace: Ombudsman cannot remove Duterte, GMA News Online, November 27,

2016, available at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/590397/palace-ombudsman-

cannot-remove-duterte/story/. Last accessed August 15, 2018.
6 Section 9 of R.A. 9851. Irrelevance of Official Capacity. - This Act shall apply equally to all persons without

any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a head of state or government, a
member of a government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case
exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Act, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground
for reduction of sentence. However:
(a) Immunities or special procedural rules that may be attached to the official capacity of a person
under Philippine law other than the established constitutional immunity from suit of the Philippine
President during his/her tenure, shall not bar the court from exercising jurisdiction over such a person; and
x x x (underscoring supplied)

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Article 17, paragraph 3 of the Rome Statute provides that ―In order to determine
inability in a particular case, the Court shall consider whether, due to x x x (the)
unavailability of its national judicial system, the State is x x x otherwise unable to carry
out its proceedings. Clearly, the Philippine justice system is unable‖ to prosecute
President Duterte during his term due to his immunity as President making the remedy
―unavailable‖ to the victims of his human rights atrocities.

Complainants further assert that the Philippine justice system is also unwilling to
prosecute President Duterte, as he has the power of control over the criminal
investigation and prosecution in the Philippines and has intimidated and compromised
other accountability mechanisms in the legal and judicial system.

President Duterte, the chief executive of the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines, has not and is not being investigated or prosecuted for crimes against
humanity or any crime for that matter by the Philippine government. In fact, he is
immune from any civil and criminal prosecution in the Philippine legal system rendering
the municipal jurisdiction unable to genuinely investigate and prosecute him.


Complainants assert that herein Complaint fulfills the precondition to the exercise
of this Court‘s jurisdiction under Article 12 in relation to Article 13 because the
Philippines is a State Party and President Duterte is a national thereof.

Furthermore, the crimes described herein were all committed within Philippine
territory, thus, satisfying the condition under Article 12, paragraph 2(a) of the Rome
Statute. Almost all of the killings carried out by state security forces, under President
Duterte‘s ―war on drugs‖, have taken place in poverty-stricken communities all over the
country, particularly, urban centers. Among the case profiles attached to this
Communication are killings and incidents which happened in urban poor communities of
Tondo, Manila; Bagong Silang, Caloocan City; and Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, all part
of Metropolitan Manila, the National Capital Region.

Complainants further aver that the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction
over President Duterte as the Philippines is a State Party to the Rome Statute and a
member of the International Criminal Court when it deposited its Instrument of
Ratification on August 10, 2011. The acts alleged in this Complaint happened during the
period of June 30, 2016 to August 23, 2018.

The fact that the Philippines deposited a written notification with the United Nations
to withdraw from the ICC is of no moment and does not deprive the Court of jurisdiction.
The Court continues to have jurisdiction over him under Article 127 of the Rome Statute
which provides that:

Article 127 - Withdrawal

1. A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-

General of the United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The
withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the
notification, unless the notification specifies a later date.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

2. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the

obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute,
including any financial obligations which may have accrued. Its
withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in
connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to
which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were
commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became
effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration
of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior
to the date on which the withdrawal became effective.

The Philippines remains a party to the Statute, therefore, since its withdrawal
shall not take effect until one year from its deposit of the notification of withdrawal or
until March 16, 2019. Since herein Complaint is filed during the period that the
Philippines is a State Party, the Court is not ousted of its jurisdiction by such notice of

Furthermore, the provision is clear that said withdrawal shall not prejudice ―any
matter which was already under consideration‖ by the Court prior to the date on which
the withdrawal became effective,7 or before March 16, 2019.8

Complainants and victims of President Duterte‘s murderous rage respectfully

implore the Prosecutor to take cognizance of this Communication and Complaint as
provided under Article 13, paragraph (c) of the Rome Statute and this Court to take
jurisdiction thereof. It is submitted, therefore, that reasonable basis exists for the
Prosecutor to conduct an investigation under Article 15, in relation to Article 53, of the

Complainants and victims have no speedy or adequate recourse and legal remedy
under the Philippine legal system for the justice that their loved ones who perished in the
mass murder deserve. Additionally, it is our hope, that with the Court taking jurisdiction
of herein Complaint, it may force President Duterte to reexamine, if not abandon, his
distorted notion of mass murder to solve the country‘s drug and crime problem. The
intervention of the ICC will save thousands more from slaughter. We emphasize that he
has no remorse and has in fact promised to continue his killing rampage during his latest
State of the Nation Address before the Philippine Congress on July 23, 2018. He

―The war against drugs will not be sidelined. It will continue, and will be
as relentless and chilling as on the first day it began.‖9

7 Article 127 of the Rome Statute, paragraph 2

8 The ICC itself has clarified in its statement that the withdrawal has no impact on ―on-going proceedings.‖
ICC Statement on The Philippines‘ notice of withdrawal: State participation in Rome Statute system
essential to international rule of law, March 20, 2018, https://www.icc-
cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1371. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
9 Full text of the speech of President Duterte on July 23, 2018 is available at : https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-

content/uploads/2018/07/2018-State-of-the-Nation-Address-of-Duterte.pdf. Last accessed on August 26,

2018. A compendium of the official speeches is attached as Annex ―A‖.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines


Assuming the Office of the President on July 1, 2016, President Duterte publicly
promised death to those involved in drugs and crimes: ―These sons of bitches are
destroying our children. I warn you, don‘t go into that, even if you‘re a policeman,
because I will really kill you ... If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself
as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.‖10

The killings of thousands of civilians, alleged drug addicts, pushers, and others
related to the trade, has been widely and publicly documented. Though there is no
consensus as to the number of dead, 4,410 killed as the latest figure admitted by the
police to have died during their operations 11 more than substantiates the gravity of these
extra-judicial killings. Worse, this does not include the thousands killed by supposedly
unidentified assassins, who, Complainants assert, are mostly also members of Philippine
state security forces or supported, condoned or goaded by them.

Whether 4,410 as reported by the government as of July 31, 2018, or 23,000 as

claimed by human rights groups, the fact is, thousands are being killed, arrested, and
detained all over the country as part of President Duterte‘s murderous anti-drug policy.

Murder during police operations

Official police data puts the number of those ―drug personalities‖ who have died
in drug-related police operations at 4,410 as of July 31, 2018, or an average of six
people a day.12 Under President Duterte‘s explicit instructions, police have taken the
helm of drug operations in the Philippines through executive directive, supplanting the
specifically-mandated13 Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).14

10 Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte urges peoples to kill drug addicts, The Guardian, July 1, 2016.
available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/01/philippines-president-rodrigo-duterte-
urges-people-to-kill-drug-addicts. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
11 The number was released without categorization, through the official #RealNumbersPH update. The

official transcript of the Real Numbers press briefing with PCOO, PNP, and NBI on August 17, 2018 is
available at: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/20180817final-
Last accessed on August 26, 2018. See compendium, Annex ―A‖.
12 Average of 6 drug suspects killed every day—PNP, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 18, 2018,

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1022538/average-of-6-drug-suspects-killed-every-day-pnp. Last accessed on

August 26, 2018. See also, Annex ―B‖, Real Numbers report cards as of July 31, 2018.
13 The mandate and functions of PDEA are derived from Republic Act No. 9156, the Philippine

Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, as revised by R.A. 10640. The law may be found here:
http://pdea.gov.ph/laws-and-regulations/ra-9165, while the PDEA functions are summarized here:
14 On October 10, 2017, the President restrained the PNP from drugs operations, deferring to PDEA. Two

months later, he backtracked and issued Memorandum Order No. 17 putting the PNP and other law
enforcement agencies on active support to PDEA. Official copy available at:
http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2017/12dec/20171205-MO-17-RRD.pdf. The police in
January 2018 resumed its role in implementing tokhang under a new set of guidelines designed to restore
public confidence.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Government officials have been adamant that all killed during this period are
criminal drug dealers, hence the term ―drug personalities‖. 15 However, many of those
killed, even presuming they are involved in illegal drugs, have not been tried and
convicted by a duly constituted court. Theirs was the misfortune of being on ―drug lists‖,
much vaunted yet unverified by the Duterte government. 16 Even assuming they are
guilty, they have the right to due process and do not deserve to be killed like dogs.

The reports of the Philippine National Police (PNP hereafter) vary, and on many
occasions conflict. Investigative group the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
(PCIJ) in June 2017 released an analysis of the official data it had received from the
police.17 By this time, it had tallied 2,555 dead from police operations as of January 31,

The report noted that because categories changed arbitrarily over time, there are
questions about ―numbers shaving or double counting.‖ These include the shift from
categories of DUIs (death under investigation, by August 2016, even though already
defined at this point as murder cases), to MCUI (murder cases under investigation, by
January 2017), to HCUI (homicide cases under investigation, by March 2017); and from
―killed‖ in July 2016 reports to ―killed in police operations‖ from August 2016 to January
2017, to ―died‖ in police operations (by March 2017). Ever-changing disaggregation of
DUI, MCUI, and HCUI figures, by status, death, or incidents, have also paved the way to
another level of confusion in clustering and comparing the numbers.

Online news page Rappler, separately, tallied official PNP data released as of
October 10, 2017. 18 The data per chronological phase of the ―war on drugs‖ is
summarized as follows:

15 Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was interviewed by Mehdi Hasan on Al-Jazeera‘s UpFront
which aired on October 6, 2017. At the time of his interview, official government data stated 3,451 "drug
personalities" were killed during police operations from June 30, 2016 to July 26, 2017. Cayetano, asked if
every single one of those killed are drug dealers, said: ―Yes‖. Video available on:
171006080715833.html. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
16 Duterte‘s ―drug list‖ was made public by August 2016. Among those killed is a local politician on the

―list‖. See generally, Eimor Santos, Duterte's drug list: What we know so far, CNN Philippines, September
17, 2016, available at: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/08/19/President-Duterte-list-of-drug-
personalities-politicians.html. Mayor in Duterte‘s ‗drug list‘ shot dead during flag-raising ceremony, The
Straits Times, July 2, 2018, available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/narco-politician-
mayor-shot-dead-during-flag-raising-ceremony. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
See also: David Santos, Gov't orders anti-drug drop boxes nationwide, CNN Philippines, October 3, 2017,
available at: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/10/03/dilg-anti-drug-drop-boxes.html. (The
Department of Interior and Local Government announced it was installing drug drop boxes nationwide, to
solicit names of suspected drug personalities from residents.) Rosette Adel, DILG agrees to scrap Masa
Masid drug drop box plan, Philippine Star, October 12, 2017, available at:
box-plan. (After drawing flak, the Interior Secretary said the scheme will be a mere suggestion for local
government offices.) Martin Sadongsadong, 11,000 names figure in validated drug watch list, Manila
Bulletin, February 9, 2018, available at: https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/02/09/11000-names-figure-in-
validated-drug-watch-list/. (The PNP maintains a list as well).
17 PCIJ findings: What‘s flawed, fuzzy with drug war numbers?, Philippine Center for Investigative

Journalism, June 8, 2017, available at: http://pcij.org/stories/pcij-findings-whats-flawed-fuzzy-with-drug-

war-numbers/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
18 Timeline: The PNP's use of the term 'deaths under investigation', Rappler.com, updated March 31, 2017,

available at: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/165534-timeline-philippines-pnp-deaths-under-

investigation. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

IN NUMBERS: PNP‘s War on Drugs (July 1, 2016 to October 10, 2017)

Campaign Houses visited Surrendered Arrested Died
Double Barrel 3,046,004 746,853 34,154 1,798
(July to October 2016)
Double Barrel Alpha 4,802,442 443,226 23,104 861
(October 2016 to January 2017)
Double Barrel Reloaded 979,043 72,109 54,828 1,274
(January to March 2017)
Total 8,827,489 1,262,188 112,086 3,933

To counter the lack of credibility of government figures, the government began

releasing official data sourced from both the police and the PDEA under the campaign
―Real Numbers PH‖ in May 2017. 19 Media who have been closely following police reports
roundly criticized the data as, well, unreal.20 The Philippine government has expressed
willingness to submit the dataset to the ICC if required, 21 even as it has refused to make
public the police reports from where the data was derived, to the Supreme Court.22

Below are the most recent data released by Real Numbers PH23:

a) As of October 25, 2017

Anti-drug operations - 77,468
Arrested - 117,044
Killed during operations - 3,967
Law enforcers killed - 86

b) As of November 27, 2017

Anti-drug operations - 79,193
Arrested - 118,287
Killed during operations - 3,967
Law enforcers killed - 86

19 PH gov't moves to counter 'false' narrative on drug war, Rappler.com, May 4, 2017, available at:
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/inside-track/168681-realnumbersph-war-on-drugs. Last accessed
on August 26, 2018.
20 #RealNumbersPH unreal, inexact, locked in riddles, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, June

8, 2017, available here: http://pcij.org/stories/realnumbersph-unreal-inexact-locked-in-riddles/. Last

accessed on August 26, 2018.
21 Jhoanna Ballaran, PDEA to give ‗real‘ drug war numbers to ICC if asked, Inquirer.net, February 14, 2018,

available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/968787/pdea-to-give-real-drug-war-numbers-to-icc-if-asked. Last

accessed on August 26, 2018.
22 While the PNP reportedly submitted the documents to the SC, neither the state counsel Solicitor General

nor the Supreme Court has provided petitioners or counsel with copies despite repeated demands. See
generally, Arianne Merez, SolGen refuses to submit reports on drug war killings to SC, ABS CBN News,
available at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/12/18/solgen-refuses-to-submit-reports-on-drug-war-
killings-to-sc. Aaron Recueno, PNP says it has submitted documents on war on drugs to SC, Manila Bulletin,
June 26, 2018, available at: https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/06/26/pnp-says-it-has-submitted-documents-
on-war-on-drugs-to-sc/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
23 A compendium of Real Numbers PH report cards is attached as Annex ―B‖.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

c) As of December 27, 2017

Anti-drug operations - 80,683
Arrested - 119,023
Killed during operations - 3,986
Law enforcers killed - 86

d) As of January 17, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 81,919
Arrested persons - 119,361
Killed during operations - 3,987
Law enforcers killed - 87

e) As of February 8, 2018
Anti-drug operations - 85,068
Arrested persons - 121,087
Killed during operations - 4,021
Law enforcers killed - 87

f) As of March 20, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 91,704
Arrested persons - 123,648
Killed during operations - 4,075

g) As of April 30, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 98,799
Arrested persons - 142,069
Killed during operations - 4,251

h) As of May 15, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 99,485
Arrested persons - 143,335
Killed during operations - 4,279

i) As of June 30, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 102,630
Arrested persons - 147,802
Killed during operations - 4,354

j) As of July 31, 2018

Anti-drug operations - 105,658
Arrested persons - 152,123
Killed during operations - 4,410

The oft-repeated narrative is that the dead fought back – ―nanlaban‖. Self-
defense in Philippine law is an affirmative allegation that should relieve the policeman of
criminal responsibility over a death in the course of an official operation. There were too
many instances, however, when witnesses testify to a police execution instead of
―nanlaban‖. Some controversial cases in point include the killing by the police of minors

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Kian de los Santos and Carl Arnaiz. Procedurally, however, the defense has to be invoked
in court and not used to forgo investigation entirely.24

Very few cases, however, have been filed giving the police a sense of impunity as
President Duterte promised to even pardon them should they be convicted in court.

This submission posits that majority, if not all, of these killings were orchestrated,
premeditated, and treacherously committed by the police and state forces in their official
capacities – in essence, murder, either ordered, incited, goaded, encouraged, tolerated
or sanctioned by President Duterte.

In the cases of Djastin B. Lopez, Bernabe F. Sabangan, and Salvador J. Locasia,

Jr., as profiled, eyewitnesses can attest to the whereabouts and circumstances of the
victims about a few minutes before the police came barging in. Commonly, the
eyewitnesses confirm that the victims were innocently going about before being accosted
or cornered by the police. Unfortunately, many of these witnesses refuse to testify for
fear of retaliation or reprisal.

The pattern is eerily the same - heavily armed squad of policemen will drag or
keep the victims in an isolated area under their full control, away from prying eyes. No
more than hour after, the police will emerge with dead bodies and the story of an
operation gone awry.25

In other instances, police, especially those in special drugs or operations units, do

not even bother to hide the killing. They just brazenly shoot the victim pointblank and
threaten the witnesses, in a marked display of impunity.

Police reports predictably state that during a buy-bust operation, the ―suspect‖
resisted arrest, pulled out a handgun, and fired at the policemen. Police will then have to
―retaliate‖ and ―neutralize‖ the ―suspect‖. According to the crime scene report (scene of
the crime operations, or SOCO), sachets of illegal drugs and/or handguns were also
supposedly found at the scene of the crime.

Witnesses, family members or neighbors, can strongly belie the statements of the
police. Djastin Lopez was by the side of the railroad tracks with a friend, drinking
softdrinks from plastic bags. When the police came running into the area, the two friends
were disoriented and went separate ways. Lopez‘ friend Christopher ran into a narrow

24 Under Section 1, Article 11 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, the following do not incur any
criminal liability: ―Anyone who acts in defense of his person or rights, provided that the following
circumstances concur; First. Unlawful aggression. Second. Reasonable necessity of the means employed to
prevent or repel it. Third. Lack of sufficient provocation on the part of the person defending himself.‖
25 See generally, the Reuters investigative report series on President Duterte‘s ―war on drugs‖ at

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/section/philippines-drugs/. Operation Kill, November 27, 2017,

available at: http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/PHILIPPINES-
DRUGWAR/010051VF46X/index.html. (Describes the modus operandi.) Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C.
Marshall, Police tell one story of what happened in Barangay 19. Security cameras tell another, Reuters,
November 27, 2017, available at: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/philippines-drugs-
surveillance/. (Focus is on one particular incident.)
Also see: ABS-CBN investigative six-part report series at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/war-on-drugs. Juni
Gonzales and Fernando Cabigao Jr., [Jonathan Cellona, photos], 'Oplan Tokhang‘: From tagging to killing,
ABS-CBN News, undated, available at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/war-on-drugs/part4. (Describes the
modus operandi.) All links last accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

alley and survived. Djastin came head on unto the path of armed policemen, and was
dead within minutes.

In the case of Sabangan and Vitales, they were watching late-night television in
the former‘s living room. Sabangan‘s sister Mariel Sabangan had left the two glued to the
screen and went upstairs to sleep, just a few minutes before the police forced their way
in. Salvador Locasia was passing along a neighbor‘s wake when armed men grabbed
him. All four died in the dubious police operations.

Drug-related murders

Many other murders happen outside the official auspices of police operations. On
top of official police data, these murders when included in the number of ―tokhang‖
deaths tack up the number to between 10,000 to 23,000 persons according to media.

As of February 2017, a national newspaper the Philippine Daily Inquirer tallied a

total of 2,127 killed by police and unknown hitmen.26 As of April 2017, the media outfit
Rappler tacked the total number of dead at minimum 7,080 persons. This was a
calculation based on police figures of all reported deaths as of January 2017. 27.

Deaths under investigation (DUIs), or as recently reclassified, homicides under

investigation is the catch-all category for cases of bodies found in the streets, those
without leads and cold case investigations. As of March 23, 2017, the PNP reported that
it had a total of 6,364 homicides under investigation, with about one fourth of the cases
determined with drug-related motives.28

Deaths of this type were rampant in the first few months of ―tokhang‖. In the most
chilling vigilante-style killings, early corpses were discovered bound in packing tape with
cardboard signs labelling them as drug pushers. 29 In stark contrast to police operations
done in the stealth of the night, masked men plied the streets and shot people most
times in broad daylight.

Media is so overwhelmed by the number of killings that it cannot report all the
heinous assassinations that take place. Police downplay the character of these killings
and do not categorize these as drug-related, keeping the official numbers low. But the

26 The newspaper also published the names of the dead in the article The Kill List, Inquirer.net, July 7,
2016, available at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/794598/kill-list-drugs-duterte. Last accessed on August 26,
27 Rappler‘s tally:2,555 suspected drug personalities killed in police operations, as of January 31, 2017

3,603 victims in cases of deaths under investigation, as of January 9, 2017

922 victims in cases where investigation has concluded, as of January 9, 2017
Michael Bueza, IN NUMBERS: The Philippines' 'war on drugs', updated April 23, 2017, available at:
https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/145814-numbers-statistics-philippines-war-drugs. Last accessed
on August 26, 2018.
28 Report of the PNP PIO on the Recapitulation of Homicides under Investigation as of July 1, 2016 to

March 5, 2017 showed that were 5,882 homicides and 6,364 deaths under investigation. For context, the
PNP PIO report also released a Recapitulation of Murder Cases under Investigation as of January 29, 2017
and March 5, 2017. The three reports are attached collectively as Annex ―C‖.
29 Jodesz Gavilan, In the PH drug war, it's likely EJK when…, Rappler.com, updated May 14, 2017.

available at: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/169726-extrajudicial-killings-philippines-drug-war-

patterns. Last accessed August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

official data has been consistently questioned by human rights groups, who have facts
and reason to contradict it.

In its March 2017 report ―License to Kill‖, the international non-governmental

organization Human Rights Watch found, after a study of 24 incidents, that there is little
distinction between police operations and vigilante killings. ―[T]he similar modus
operandi in these operations shows planning and coordination by the police, and in some
cases, local civilian officials,‖ the HRW concluded. ―Furthermore, the government‘s
failure to arrest — let alone prosecute — a single police officer for their role in any of the
‗war-on-drugs‘ killings that Duterte has encouraged and instigated sends a message that
those involved need not fear being held to account, and that future killings can be
carried out with impunity.‖30

Deaths in detention

On August 2, 2018, Allan Rafael and a companion were accosted by police at a

checkpoint in Manila. According to the police, they breached public peace and allegedly
had in their possession two sachets of methamphetamine or shabu. Four days later,
Allan was declared dead.31

Allan was a former overseas Filipino worker, a chef, who had to stop working
when he was stricken by cancer. He was in the midst of undergoing chemotherapy when
he was arrested, but was responding well to treatment and was expected to make a full
recovery. His relatives believe the cause of death is by beating, inside the station, while
the family was mobilizing resources for his release. 32

Impunity: Few cases filed by victims‘ family went nowhere

Even the few cases filed by courageous families of the victims, went nowhere, as
President Duterte publicly committed to help government authorities charged in court.
One of the first ―tokhang‖ countersuits was for the multiple murder of a group of men
playing pool in Payatas, Quezon City. It was August 2016, about a month into Duterte‘s
terms, when Efren Morillo and four others were suddenly rounded up by the police,
pointed to by informants33. They were then tied up and shot ―execution-style‖. Morillo,
who pretended to be dead, survived to tell the tale. He filed murder charges against four
Quezon City policemen and five police informants.34 The case is in a standstill, despite
the presence and cooperation of a witness-survivor, two years after the incident.

30 ―License to Kill‖: Philippine Police Killings in Duterte‘s ―War on Drugs, Human Rights Watch, May 2,
2017, available at: https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/03/02/license-kill/philippine-police-killings-
dutertes-war-drugs. Last accessed August 26, 2018.
31 Rambo Talabong, Retired OFW dies under police custody, Rappler.com, August 10, 2018, available at:

https://www.rappler.com/nation/209240-allan-rafael-dies-police-custody-august-2-2018. Last accessed

August 26, 2018.
32 Mark Jayson Cayabyab, Ex-OFW who died in jail a victim of ‗hulidap'?, Philippine Star, August 11, 2018,

available at: https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/08/11/1841423/ex-ofw-who-died-jail-victim-hulidap.

Last accessed August 18, 2018.
33 The police reports of three incidents with pending criminal countercharges are attached as Annex ―D‖.

Particularly in the case of Morillo, there is a Spot Report dated August 22, 2016 from the Quezon City
Police District.
34 Vince Nonato, ‗Tokhang‘ survivor sues four policemen for murder, Inquirer.net, available at:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/877135/tokhang-survivor-sues-four-policemen-for-murder. Last accessed on

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Another is a charge of double murder for father and son Luis and Gabriel Lois
Bonifacio.35 In September 2016, at the height of the killings in Caloocan, police came
charging into the slums as the clock struck midnight. They crammed themselves into the
Bonifacio house, woke the family with their guns, and ordered the sleeping women and
children out. The last instance widow Mary Ann Domingo saw of her husband was him
kneeling, his arms up, asking if he could put on his shirt first; of her eldest son, clinging
to his father and pleading with the police to spare their lives. Father and son were shot to
death using the same contrived reason—they had guns and fought back.

The murder of Eric Sison, who was riddled with 14 gunshots is an example of a
case where the evidence of a rubout is apparent.36 Policemen drove up in a patrol car
and saw Sison drinking with some friends, outside his house in Pasay City. One of them
pulled Sison up and whispered something. Sison said, ―huwag po‖ (please don‘t) and ran
toward his house. Police drew their guns, pursued and shot him to death. Even the
government‘s own investigation arm, the National Bureau of Investigation was forced to
admit that the wound trajectories gave the impression that the victim was shot while
running up the stairs of his residence and while lying down hiding under a mattress. 37

The three murder cases, two years in, are still pending investigation or trial, and
share the same version of the police narrative. The ―suspects‖ were caught in a buy-bust
operation, resisted, and fought back with handguns - even if they were not threats to the
police, even if they were, verily, surrounded by armed men, even if they were kneeling
and incapacitated. Common to them all, other than they were suspected of dealing in
illegal drugs, is that they are poor — Morillo is a vendor, the elder Bonifacio, a barangay
tanod (village guard); the younger Bonifacio, a waiter; and Sison, a tricycle driver. More
importantly, also common is the fact that these very few cases remain pending in courts
years after they have been filed.

This type is the ―perfect‖ victim – they keel over helplessly in so many ways before
and after the incident. Poverty and poor access to justice in the Philippines soundly
exacerbate the problem. In the face of superior force and labyrinth processes, they are
mostly clueless on how to deal with, and more so, defeat the system.

Fueling impunity is the difficulty of the victims‘ families to access the justice
system after President Duterte threatened to include even the lawyers of drug suspects
in his drug war: ―They [the drug suspects] were able to post bail because they have
lawyers. They are good, high-profile lawyers. Then [their clients] will play again,‖ President

August 26, 2018. Morillo and his family were granted protection via writ of amparo, docketed as Morillo v.
PNP, G.R. No. 229072, January 31, 2017.
35 Docketed as OMB-P-C-17-0149, under preliminary investigation pending before the Office of the

Ombudsman. See Annex ―D‖, Police Reports of Incident with Pending Murder Charges. Particularly in the
case of Bonifacio, there is a Report on Shooting Encounter dated September 15, 2016, a Spot Report
dated September 15, 2016, and an After-Operation Report dated September 16, 2016 from the Caloocan
Police District.
36 See Annex ―D‖, Police Reports of Incident with Pending Murder Charges. Particularly in the case of Sison,

there is an Incident Report dated August 23, 2016, a Progress Report dated August 26, 2018, and a 2nd
Progress Report dated August 31, 2016 from the Pasay City Police Station.
37 Ghio Ong, 3 Pasay cops charged for ‗tokhang‘ murder, Philippine Star, June 5, 2017, available at:

https://www.philstar.com/metro/2017/06/05/1707130/3-pasay-cops-charged-tokhang-murder. Last
accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Duterte said an expletive-laced speech in December 2017. He then warned: ―Even their
lawyers, I will include them.‖38

Lawyers of drug suspects have in fact been killed such as Atty. Rogelio Bato, the
lawyer of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and his son Kerwin who were allegedly
on Duterte‘s drug list. The latest is Atty. Rafael Atotubo who was killed by unidentified
assailants riding in tandem on August 23, 2018 in Bacolod, Negros.

With President Duterte promising virtual immunity to the police, it is pointless for
the victims. It takes great effort for them to understand, and much more, to transcend
their victimhood.

Tyranny: Critics of the drug war are persecuted

President Duterte‘s public threats are considered serious and is not out of
character. In his previous stint as Davao City executive, he has been accused of links to
vigilante death squads in Davao, which rights groups say have killed more than 1,000
people. 39

His public pronouncements are replete with his lack of respect for human rights
and institutions of public accountability. Beyond words, he has also attacked these
institutions for daring to remind him of his duty to respect and protect human rights. 40 He
is intolerant of dissent and has several times attacked those who disagree with his
publicly-admitted policy of mass murder using his presidential platform and powers, as
exemplified by the arrest of former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and the unorthodox
removal of the Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.41

He has refused to acknowledge accountability by ensuring his control of

accountability mechanisms such as the prosecution system and the courts, going after
38 Marlon Ramos, Duterte warns drug lords‘ lawyers, Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 9, 2016,
available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/852028/duterte-warns-drug-lords-lawyers. See also: Tetch
Torres-Tupas, IBP: Duterte remark on drug suspects‘ lawyers ‗very dangerous‘, Inquirer.net, December 9,
2016, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/852229/ibp-duterte-remark-on-drug-suspects-lawyers-very-dangerous.
Last accessed on August 26, 2018. Video clips of his speech available at: https://youtu.be/gbazuUxIA28.
39 "You Can Die Any Time": Death Squad Killings in Mindanao, Human Rights Watch, April 6, 2009,

available at: https://www.hrw.org/report/2009/04/06/you-can-die-any-time/death-squad-killings-

mindanao. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
40 President Duterte has threatened to abolish the office and given it an unreasonable budget. See

generally, Nestor Corrales, Duterte threatens to abolish CHR, July 25, 2017, available at:
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/917250/duterte-threatens-to-abolish-chr. Tina Joyce Laceda, Gascon had it
coming – Duterte on CHR budget, PTV News, September 13, 2017, available at:
coming, with video available at: https://youtu.be/0Xm19Ukfo94. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
41 See generally, TIMELINE: De Lima – from drug probe to arrest, Rappler.com, updated February 24, 2017,

available at: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/162416-leila-de-lima-arrest-timeline-drug-probe.

Senator Leila de Lima arrested in the Philippines, Al Jazeera, February 24, 2017, available at:

and Philippine chief justice Sereno, Duterte's critic, removed, Al Jazeera, May 11, 2018, available at:
180511065453926.html. Jake Maxwell Watts, Philippines‘ Top Court Ousts Chief Justice, Critic of
Duterte‘s Drug War, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2018, available at:
1526027374. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

dissenters exemplified by the imprisonment of the said Sen. Leila De Lima and hundreds
of activists, and at the same time protecting his subordinates verily involved in ―tokhang‖
as shown in his exoneration of Chief Supt. Marvin Marcos. Marcos was accused of
murder for serving a search warrant on a local mayor, a drug suspect, already detained in
prison. He and his men shot the mayor, claiming that the detained mayor pulled a gun
and they had no option but to ―retaliate.‖ Duterte ordered his reinstatement despite this
clear case of murder.42

Calls from the international community have fallen on deaf ears. In June 2018, 38
states raised concerns over the human rights situation in the Philippines at the 38 th
session of the UN Human Rights Council. The statement delivered by Iceland reads in
part: ―We urge the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to bring
killings associated with the campaign against illegal drugs to an end and cooperate with
the international community to investigate all related deaths and hold perpetrators

President Duterte himself addressed the statements of concern from the UNHRC,
the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-
judicial Killings. ―If these fools come here, are there crocodiles here? The ones that eat
people? Throw those sons of bitches to them,‖ he told soldiers in Zamboanga City, in
southern Philippines. 44

Worse, the system of extrajudicial killings that plagued the country for decades
continued under his regime and has risen to the highest form of impunity — when people
commit crimes because they can get away with it.

Not only has President Duterte‘s anti drug and anti-criminality policy resulted in
the death of thousands of civilians, but the culture of impunity that it has spawned also
escalated the extrajudicial killing of activists, opposition and ordinary people asserting
their rights.


Rise Up for Life and for Rights, an ecumenical group that assists and consolidates
victims of the war on drugs, has prepared a set of illustrative cases to show how
gruesome the human rights violations committed by the Duterte administration are.

42 Jullliane Love De Jesus, Senate probes reinstatement of Marcos, cops who killed mayor, Inquirer.net,
June 26, 2017, available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/917616/senate-probes-reinstatement-of-
marcos-cops-who-killed-mayor. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
43The full statement is available at: https://www.iceland.is/iceland-abroad/efta/news/statement-of-

iceland-on-the-human-rights-situation-in-the-philippines/13825/. Last accessed on August 19, 2018.

Iceland spoke in behalf of: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United
44 Alexis Romero, Duterte: Feed United Nations rights experts to crocodiles, March 12, 2018, available at:

crocodiles. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Most, if not all, on the ―drug lists‖ end up dead


Bernabe Sabangan dabbled in the drug trade as a small-time courier because of

poverty. For a few months, when money was tight, he became a ―runner‖ for the bigger
pushers, delivering at most P200 ($4) worth of shabu at a time. He did not use drugs,
says his sister, and quit the business entirely when Duterte came to power. He was afraid
for his life, said Mariel Sabangan.45

Bernabe ―surrendered‖ to authorities by coming clean to his barangay captain. He

was not put on any rehabilitation program because he wasn‘t a user. But police later
went after him, claiming, he kept at the business.

As aforementioned, in May 2017, while watching late night television with his
friend Arnold Vitales, police swarmed into his house. His sister‘s family, who had just
retired for the night, was roused by shouting from downstairs no more than five minutes
after. Armed men then barged into their bedroom and forced them out of the house.

Passing by the living room, Mariel saw Bernabe lying prone, handcuffed. Arnold
was sitting on a chair, crying and pleading with the police. Many armed men surrounded
them, with their guns trained on the two. All other people inside the shared house were
ushered out, leaving the two men with the police.

When Mariel was outside the house, she heard gun shots, in short succession.
Arnold‘s elder sister, Angelica, then came around looking for her brother. None of them
were allowed into the house or given information. For about thirty minutes, the police
kept their place and were observed playing ball outside the house.

It was around 11:30 pm when officials from the barangay and investigators came
to the scene. Two bodies, wrapped in bloodied blankets, were taken out and sent to the
hospital. Bernabe and Arnold were declared dead on arrival. A funeral company
processed the two bodies, with prior arrangements for discounts courtesy of the vice
mayor‘s office.

When Mariel returned home, their television set, watches, two cellphones and
other personal belongings, as well as the motorcycle of Mariel‘s husband were missing.

The incident was reported by the police and portrayed in the media as a buy-bust
operation conducted by joint elements of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). The district police chief announced that the
two were on a drug ―watchlist.‖ Sachets of shabu, two handguns, and an improvised
shotgun were allegedly found at the scene.


Salvador Locasia Jr. was allegedly on the barangay drug list of Bagong Silangan,
Quezon City, but this was not confirmed. Bongbong, as he was fondly called, used to be a

45Attached as Annex ―E‖ is a compendium of Case Profiles. For Sabangan‘s killing, included is a summary,
the affidavit of Mariel Sabangan, and the police report.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

small-time peddler and runner, when he needed the money for his family. Eventually, he
settled into a stable, though not as lucrative, job as side cardriver. 46

On a busy weeknight in August 2016, barely a month after President Duterte had
taken oath, he was killed by four policemen near a neighborhood wake. Witnesses
claimed that after a known police asset came by, four policemen arrived and directed
everyone keeping vigil at the wake, except for Bongbong, to run away.

Police then turned off the lights thereabouts, including those around the casket. 47
They dragged Bongbong away to a dark place. The witnesses then heard gunshots, and
saw Bongong‘s bloody body on the ground.

The police reported it as a buy-bust operation, complete with coordination forms

and marked money. Bongbong, on his own, had fought back against a team of 20 police
operatives, for about P200 worth of shabu, the police claimed.

Bongbong‘s mother Irma Locasia tried to raise funds for her son‘s wake and
funeral. After relaying the situation to a local barangay official, the official remarked, ―ah,
para sa anak mong adik? [oh, for your son who is an addict?]‖. Irma denies that her son
ever used drugs.


Brothers Crisanto and Juan Carlos Lozano were killed by the police in an alleged
response to a robbery incident in May 2017. A robbery had been reported near a major
thoroughfare in the wee hours of the morning in Quezon City, said the police report.
Three men allegedly took the mobile phone of the victim at gunpoint, and then boarded a
passenger jeepney48.

Police caught up with the trio a few miles down the highway and in a shoot out,
managed to kill them all. On their bodies were found sachets of illegal drugs and guns,
the police report stated.

Crisanto and Juan Carlos were on the barangay drug list, their sister Maria Lozano
said, but it was because of previous record of petty thievery. Now near their thirties and
pressed with filial obligations, the two had moved on with their lives. 49

The day before they were killed, the brothers had gone out early to see an uncle
who was helping them get clearances and referrals for work. When neither brother
contacted family even later in the day, their mother grew worried.

Friends and family began scouring nearby barangay halls and precincts, anxious
that the two might have been picked up by police. Mid-morning the following day, an

46 See Annex ―E‖, compendium of Case Profiles. For Locasia‘s killing. Included is a summary, the affidavit
of Irma Locasia, and the police report.
47 It is common for wakes of the poor to be held along the alleys of their communities, open for all and only

under the shelter of canopies.

48 Public transportation vehicles commonly plying the roads in the Philippines. They are open-type vehicles

and were adapted with extended seating from U.S. military jeeps.
49 See Annex ―E‖, compendium of Case Profiles. For the Lozano killings, included is a summary, the

affidavit of Maria Lozano, the police report.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

anonymous caller told Crisanto‘s wife to watch the news on YouTube. Only after then,
following the police instructions, were Maria and her family able to track the bodies.

Because the brothers were initially not identified, their bodies had already been
taken from the morgue by the police-accredited Light Funeral Parlor. The funeral parlor,
allegedly owned by a policeman, took all unclaimed bodies from the police and
processed them for a fee. The funeral charges vary from case to case.

For the Lozano brothers, it went from Php112,000 down to 75,000 over several
days of hard bargaining. Strapped for cash, Maria agreed to pay Php50,000 just so the
bodies could be released and set up for the wake. Light Funeral refused to release the
death certificates required for the burial until the remainder of Php25,000 was paid.
Maria scraped up the money while her brothers lay in state. Light Funeral offered to
apply the case for subsidy by the city vice mayor. Suspicious of the liability waivers, the
Lozanos however declined. It felt like a hostage situation with the funeral parlor, Maria
said, and then they wanted to get away with it.

In its report released in January 2017, Amnesty International noted the practice of
police-established dealings with funeral homes. ―Police investigators appear to be
running a racket with funeral homes,‖ it said. Citing sources, it bared that police get a
percentage of the fees, in cash, for every dead body sent to the funeral homes.50

In an effort to link drugs to criminality, police portray the victims as petty criminals


Djastin Lopez was along the railroad tracks of Tondo, Manila, whiling away time
with friends. He was perched on the tracks drinking softdrinks with a friend when a group
of armed policemen suddenly came running.

Panicked, Djastin ran, but tripped along the tracks in front of one armed man.
Witnesses, including Mary Rose Dela Cruz, from whom Djastin had bought softdrinks,
said he fell on his back on the railroad tracks. People nearby attested that he raised his
hands and pleaded to the men, "huwag po, huwag po, suko na po ako." (Please don't.
Please don't. I surrender). 51

The policeman shot him and shoved him down. Djastin was seen convulsing
violently, possibly because he had epilepsy. Seemingly taken aback, the policeman
slapped Djastin's face and shot him again. He slapped Djastin again, checking if Djastin
was still moving. Other policemen also came to see for themselves the matter. They also
shot Djastin, lying bloody on the tracks.

The official police report stated that the incident was a buy-bust operation. But
upon inquiry by Djastin‘s family, policemen tried to turn the story around, saying that he

50 The full report is on their website. Philippines: The police's murderous war on the poor, Amnesty
International, January 31, 2017, available at:
Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
51 See Annex ―E‖, compendium of Case Profiles. For Lopez‘ killing, included is a summary, the affidavit of

Normita Lopez, and the police report.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

was a suspect in a murder of a tricycle driver a month prior. Officially responding to the
complaint by Normita Lopez, Djastin‘s mother, before the Office of the Ombudsman,
police said that the operation was a ―follow-up‖ to the alleged murder of one Michael
Turla. They presented the affidavit of an alleged witness, dated April 2018. Normita is
clueless as to how Djastin got involved. She says she had no idea, and that no charges
had been filed against Djastin. Asking around, she says the alleged witness had been for
a long time detained at the police station.


Danilo Dacumos, who lived with his family in a big slum area in Caloocan City was
often caught petty gambling. He probably ended up on a drug list, says his family,
because of prejudices. 52

Danilo was caught in April 2017 playing cards with friends and was released after
a few days, on ―ransom‖ by the police.53 Several months later the police came back and
barged into their one-room home.

Purisima Dacumos, his wife, says that she recognized the same policeman who
introduced himself as Chief of Police in April as one of those who came back. Several
armed policemen came to their home in August 2017, at around 10:30 pm, while the
Purisima and her grandchildren were already in bed. The police forced open the door and
shouted the women and children to leave the house. Danilo was left behind, with the
police poised by the narrow doorway.

Seconds later, Purisima says she saw the police chief fire his armalite through the
doorway. Another policeman fired his pistol at something, or someone, inside the house,
she recalls.

Other policemen stood by the neighbor‘s houses to keep people at bay away from
the Dacumos house. A policeman told Danilo‘s daughter-in-law, who was in the
apartment room above Purisima‘s, ―[s]ana pinatakas niyo na lang ang tatay niyo dahil
yan ang utos ni Duterte, na patayin ang mga adik.‖ (You should have made him flee
because that is the order of Duterte, to kill addicts.)

Danilo sustained three gunshot wounds on his neck, one gunshot wound above
his ear, another gunshot wound on his hand, abrasions and a fractured arm. The police
claimed Danilo shot at them first.

52 See Annex ―E‖, compendium of Case Profiles. For Dacumos‘ killing, included is a summary, the affidavit
of Purisima Dacumos, and the police report.
53 ―Hulidap‖ is a portmanteau of the Filipino words for ―catch‖ and ―hold-up‖. It generally refers to the

practice of police negotiating and extorting money from people who are takeninto custody, officially or
unofficially. In the context of the anti-illegal drug war, it has morphed into a modus operandi of arresting
alleged drug personalities, and then demanding money their relatives for their release and/or withdrawal
of formal charges. The PNP maintains these are committed by rogue cops. See generally, Maan Macapagal,
'Hulidap' cops using war on drugs for extortion: PNP official, ABS-CBN News, August 14, 2017, available at:
http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/08/14/17/hulidap-cops-using-war-on-drugs-for-extortion-pnp-official. Last
accessed on August 24, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Because of the ―quota‖ system, many victims do not have ties to the drug trade at all

The killings are also said to be rampant because of a ―quota‖ and reward
system.54 The ―quota‖ system requires police stations to meet targets, otherwise it is
considered in default and unsupportive of the campaign. A rewards program gives
incentives to the police to not only meet, but to exceed those targets. 55


John Jezreel David, nicknamed "JJ", a hotel room attendant in a Pasay City Inn,
was last seen alive on January 19, 2017. After his shift that ended early morning, he said
goodbye to his boss, and then took on his friend as passenger on his motorcycle home.
His father next saw him in the hospital morgue, cold and lifeless. After haranguing and
pulling strings, police returned JJ‘s motorcycle – repainted black – to the family. They all
next met at the prosecutor‘s office, where police had filed drug selling charges against

The police report says JJ, his companion Kim Ocenar, and one George Yap were
killed by operatives of Police Station 11 of the Manila Police District in Binondo, Manila,
in an alleged buy-bust operation at Delpan corner Lara Streets. Police reports claim that
the three were armed drug suspects who fought back against the police during the
operation, sustained wounds, and were brought dead-on-arrival at Justice Abad Santos
General Hospital.

JJ, Kim, and George had no record of relation to the drug trade in their respective
areas, and were probably accosted somewhere. JJ‘s father Dennise says his son might
have been flagged along Jones Bridge and taken into custody because JJ only had a
student driver‘s permit.

The arrival of the bodies of JJ, Kim and George at the hospital were covered by
Reuters in a chilling special report, ―Dead on Arrival.‖ 57 The report tracks procedural
issues and mistakes by the police in the course of investigation, and shows their horrible
indifference. In a damning clip inside the hospital grounds, after something falls off one
of the dead men‘s pockets, a policeman casually puts it back in. The police later claims
sachets of shabu were found in JJ‘s pocket.

In an effort to vilify JJ, Kim and George and justify their killings, the police who
took part in the operation charged the deceased with violation of the Comprehensive
Dangerous Drugs Act. After police readily admitted the death of the ―suspects‖, the

54 Manuel Mogato and Claire Baldwin, Special Report: Police describe kill rewards, staged crime scenes in
Duterte's drug war, Reuters, April 18, 2017, available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-
war-idUSKBN17K1F4. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
55 Lara Tan, War vs. poor: Police paid per drug killing – Amnesty International, CNN Phillipines, February 2,

2017, available at: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/02/01/war-on-drugs-extrajudicial-killing-

Duterte-Amnesty-International.html. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
56 See Annex ―E‖, compendium of Case Profiles. For David‘s killing, included is a summary, the affidavit of

Dennise David, and the police report.

57 Claire Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall, Dead on Arrival: Philippine police use hospitals to hide drug

war killings, June 29, 2017, available at: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/philippines-

duterta-doa/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Manila prosecutor‘s office hastily dismissed the case, because in Philippine law death
extinguishes criminal liability – the case should not have been filed in the first place.

Dennise, thoroughly aggrieved, believes that the case was intentionally filed to
portray his son as a criminal. Thus, he filed criminal and administrative complaints
against the police operatives involved in the killing of his son in February 2018,
contesting allegations that JJ was involved in illegal drug-related activities and showing
proof of his son‘s innocence. This complaint is yet unresolved before the Office of the


Complainants herewith argue and prove that President Duterte is liable for Crimes
Against Humanity under the Rome Statute.

I. President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally responsible and liable for CRIMES

AGAINST HUMANITY through the above mentioned acts of murder proscribed
under Article 7 Paragraph 1 (a) of the Rome Statute, as perpetrator of the
widespread and systematic attack against civilians which resulted in the mass
killing of at least 4,410 civilians, including the kin of herein Complainants,
through his brutal anti-drug and anti-criminality policies.

1. Article 7, paragraph 1 (a) of the Rome Statute provides that the act of
murder is a crime against humanity if "committed as part of a widespread or systematic
attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack‖.

2. President Duterte publicly announced his policy to end the ―illegal drug
problem‖ in the Philippines through the killing and elimination of those he sweepingly
labels as drug addicts, drug pushers and drug syndicates during his campaign for the
Presidency and reiterated the same when he became President of the Philippine

2.1. During the campaign period he repeatedly boasted to eliminate the

drug problem within six months by threatening to kill drug suspects. 58 He also
said during the campaign that ―When I become president, I‘ll order the police and
the military to find these people and kill them.‖59

58 Before his election win, during the campaign, Duterte said 100,000 people would die in his crackdown,
with so many dead bodies dumped in Manila Bay that fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.
Duterte to criminals: Tataba yung isda sa Manila Bay, dyan ko kayo itatapon, ABS-CBN News, May 25,
2015, available at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/nation/05/25/15/duterte-criminals-tataba-yung-isda-
sa-manila-bay-dyan-ko-kayo-itatapon. Video is available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efeclWJ6fYw&feature=youtu.be. Last accessed on August 20, 2018.
59 Kill the criminals! Duterte‘s vote-winning vow, Agence France-Presse, March 16, 2016, available at:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/774225/kill-the-criminals-dutertes-vote-winning-vow. Last accessed on

August 24, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

2.2. When he became president he reiterated this policy through various

media such as this statement: ―I will kill more if only to get rid of drugs‖. Duterte
made this warning in a speech in Davao City on February 2, 2017.60

3. He publicly declared that ―If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill
them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.‖61

4. After he assumed the presidency on July 1, 2016 thousands of civilians

have been killed either by the police or vigilante assassins usually riding in tandem in
motorcycles. The numbers vary, depending on the source, but it runs into thousands :

4.1. Police Report - 4,410 from government-released Real Numbers PH

4.2. Ateneo Policy Center – at least 5,021 drug-related deaths62
4.3. Human Rights Watch - over 12,000 killed63
4.4. Media Reports - over 23,000 killed which data were taken from
various PNP reports64

5. The victims are civilians, and the attacks were directed against the civilian
population because they are ―persons who are civilians as opposed to members of
armed forces and other legitimate combatants" 65. The government has in fact admitted
that most of these killed are civilians in their report by differentiating those killed who
come from government and the military.

6. The attacks were systematic because:

6.1. These form part of the policy enunciated by President Duterte to kill
drug suspects through many of his rambling and repetitious public speeches in
various parts of the country as well as his vaunted ―drug list‖ supposedly
containing the names of drug suspects who are targets of his ruthless anti-drug

7. The modus operandi of the killings of thousands of the victims in various

parts of the country were similar showing a unified design:

60 Nestor Corrales, Duterte‘s statements: Is he serious or is he just kidding? 2017 year-end report,
Inquirer,net, December 31, 2017, available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/956252/dutertes-statements-
is-he-serious-or-is-he-just-kidding. See Annex ―A‖, compendium of Speeches of the President.
61 Philippines: Duterte‘s ‗Drug War‘ Claims 12,000+ Lives, Human Rights Watch, January 18, 2018,

available at:. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/18/philippines-dutertes-drug-war-claims-12000-lives.

Last accessed August 19, 2018. See also: note numbers 36 and 75.
62 The report is available at: https://drugarchive.ph. The research consortium is led by the Ateneo School

of Government at Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle Philippines, the University of the Philippines-
Diliman and the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University‘s Graduate School of
Journalism. Their data is derived from news reports between May 10, 2016 and September 29, 2017.
63 The figure is on the Philippine profile of the HRW, available at: https://www.hrw.org/world-

report/2018/country-chapters/philippines. Last accessed on August 19, 2018.

64 This includes claims by the opposition. Ted Regencia, Senator: Rodrigo Duterte's drug war has killed

20,000, Al Jazeera, February 21, 2018, available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/senator-

rodrigo-duterte-drug-war-killed-20000-180221134139202.html. Deaths under investigation under the
drug war is at past 22,000. Cecile Suerte Felipe, PNP: 22,983 deaths under inquiry since drug war
launched, Philippine Star, June 11, 2018, available at:
launched. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
65 See, inter alia, Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Case no. ICC-01/05-01/08, June 15, 2009.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

(1) For those killed during police operations—the usual modus is a police
―buy-bust-operation‖ which results in the death of the victims for
allegedly resisting arrest (―nanlaban‖).66 As aforesaid, at least 4,410
have died in these police operations as of July 31, 2018.

(2) For those killed by unidentified vigilantes or undercover police—the

usual modus is the killing of the victim by at least two unidentified
assassins usually wearing helmets, riding in tandem in a motorcycle,
with the gunman astride at the back of the driver. Although the exact
number cannot be clearly ascertained, these kind of killings run to
several thousands 67

8. They were so widespread that the number of death of suspects in the

hands of the police number in the thousands.

8.1. The government has admitted that there is a spike in the number of
deaths as result of their anti-drug and anti-criminality operations. 68 The police,
however, justified the killing of drug suspects on the uniform ground that the
victims fought it out with police (―nanlaban‖).

8.2. The attacks were widespread as they happened in almost all the
regions of the country.

9. Within the first 13 days of President Duterte‘s term, 135 people had been
killed in anti-drug operations in ten (10) out of the eighteen (18) regions of the country,
as follows:69

a) Central Luzon Region - 55 killed in police operations

b) Metro Manila Region - 44 killed
c) Calabarson Region - 17 killed
d) Ilocos Region - 6 killed
e) Socksargen Region - 5 killed
f) Bicol Region Region - 3 killed
g) Central Visayas Region - 2 killed
h) Cordillera Admin Region - 1 killed
i) Caraga Region - 1 killed
j) Davao Region - 1 killed

66 See note 26 and Annex ―I‖, a compendium of police reports.

67 Attached is a compendium of police reports of riding in tandem incidents as Annex ―F‖.
68 Between July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2016, a period of six years, there were 99,710 anti-illegal drug

operations conducted by the government. In comparison, from July 1, 2016 to February 8, 2018, just two
years of Duterte, there were 85,068 operations. Official transcript of the Real Numbers press briefing with
the PCOO, PDEA, and PNP on February 14, 2018 is available at: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-
Real_Numbers_Press_Briefing_with_PCOO_Assistant_Secretary_Ana_Marie_Banaag....pdf . Last accessed
on August 26, 2018. See Annex ―A‖, compendium of Speeches of the President..
69 PNP Data on the Drug War: In 2 weeks: 135 killed, 1,844 arrested, 66K ‗surrenderees,‘ 43K homes

‗visited‘, PCIJ, July 14, 2016, available at: http://pcij.org/stories/in-2-weeks-135-killed-1844-arrested-66k-

surrenderees-43k-homes-visited/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018. .

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

10. Thousands died in the hands of the police and during police operations
subsequently—ALL OVER THE PHILIPPINES. A report by the police itself on the number of
those killed during drug operations as of September 26, 2017 admitted the nationwide
mass murder that went on after that in all the regions of the country in Luzon, Visayas,
and Mindanao:70

Region I - 188 killed in drug operations

Region II - 54
Region III - 619
Region IV-A - 364
Region IV-B - 5
Region VI - 33
Region VII - 37
Region VIII - 61
Region IX - 45
Region X - 43
Region XI - 71
Region XII - 162
Region ARMM - 7
Region CAR - 40
National Capital Region - 1336

11. These suspects were summarily killed and were not resisting arrest as
proven in certain cases such as:

(1) The case of Efren Morillo and the killing of Marcelo Daa Jr, Jessie Cule,
Rhaffy Gabo and Anthony Comendo

Tokhang‘ survivor sues four policemen for murder71

Vince F. Nonato Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:31 PM March 03, 2017

Efren Morillo, the lone survivor of a bloody drug raid in Quezon City, has filed a criminal
complaint against four policemen and their informants in yet another legal challenge
against the government‘s controversial campaign.

Morillo filed a complaint for murder, frustrated murder, robbery, and planting of drugs
and firearms before the Office of the Ombudsman. This comes a month after he became
the first victim of Oplan Tokhang to petition the Supreme Court for protection under the
writ of amparo.

The filing of the complaint also comes in the wake of the government‘s pronouncements
that Oplan Tokhang, which has been criticized for violating the right to due process, will
soon be revived after it was halted only in January.

Named respondents were Police Senior Inspector Emil Garcia, Police Officer 3 Allan
Formilleza, Police Officer 1 (PO1) James Aggarao, and PO1 Melchor Navisaga, who were
formerly detailed with the Quezon City Police District Station 6.

Also sued were their purported informants Lea Barcelona, Mary Joy Ralo, Lorie Barcelona,
and Richard Andan alias ―Manok.‖

70 Id.
71 Supra, note 34.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

The complaint arose from the Tokhang operation at Group 9, Area B, Payatas, Quezon
City on August 21, 2016, where the policemen allegedly shot four companions
―execution-style.‖ Despite being shot, Morillo was miraculously able to escape after
playing dead.

Autopsies would indicate that some of the dead were possibly kneeling or lying down
when they were shot point-blank. Besides the alleged killings and planting of evidence,
informant ―Manok‖ even stole jewelry and other items from the house of the widow of
Morillo‘s friend, Marcelo ―Nonoy‖ Daa Jr.

Morillo claimed that he and his friends were only playing pool at 3 o‘clock in the
afternoon when armed men carried out a raid and shot them when they refused to admit
to owning the silver foil and toy gun ―found‖ at the scene.

―From what I have narrated, it is clear that we were not using shabu but merely playing
pool but we were arrested and forced to admit that we own the plastic sachet with white
substance inside that they were holding,‖ the affidavit read. Morillo specifically named
Formilleza as the policeman who shot him and his friend when they protested their
innocence. He was hit in the chest area but did not lose consciousness right away.

―I saw him fire two shots at Nonoy, who fell to the ground beside me and started running
out of breath,‖ he continued. ―Then he fired another shot at Nonoy. Thoroughly frightened
that I might be shot again, I closed my eyes and played dead.‖

While he could recognize Formilleza‘s face, Morillo said he only later knew of the
policemen‘s identities when they filed a complaint against him before the city prosecutor
for direct assault against an agent of a person in authority by resisting arrest during the
Tokhang operation. The policemen had even claimed in media interviews that Morillo and
his companions were caught in the act of using shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride)
and even dubbed them notorious drug suspects and holduppers.

―Nevertheless, the policemen themselves admit to shooting me and my companions.

They are claiming that the shooting was in fulfillment of their duties in relation to an anti-
drug operation,‖ the affidavit read.

―They claim that we resisted and fought back. However, these allegations are baseless
and are mere fabrications.‖

As was the case with the petition for amparo at the SC, the Center for International Law
(Centerlaw) also assisted Morillo in filing the Ombudsman complaint.

When Morillo and the relatives of four killed suspects sought protection from the police,
the government through the Office of the Solicitor-General did not contest the pleading
when the case was remanded to the Court of Appeals.

The appeals court swiftly issued on Feb. 10 a permanent protection order directing the
policemen‘s reassignment and prohibiting them from coming within a one-kilometer
radius of their homes and workplaces. It also ordered the Philippine National Police to
stop implementing Oplan Tokhang against Morillo and his copetitioners, and inform them
of the results of an internal investigation into the incident./rga

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

(2) The case of Kian de los Santos

Kian was killed without mercy — NBI72

Tetch Torres-Tupas - INQUIRER.net / 07:08 PM August 31, 2017

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also filed before the Department of Justice
(DOJ) on Thursday criminal complaints against the police officers involved in the death of
17-year old Kian Loyd Delos Santos. A complaint for murder, violation of Domicile under
Article 128 of the Revised Penal Code and Section 29 of the Comprehensive Dangerous
Drugs Act or planting of evidence have been filed against Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo,
Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares, PO1 Jeremias Tolete Pereda and Jerwin Roque Cruz.

The NBI said contrary to the claim of the police officers that Kian fought it out with the
police, evidence showed that Kian was shot to the head — behind the left ear and inside
the left ear when he was in a fetal position.

―Police protocol mandates that any police officer making an arrest should immediately
search the arrested individual for any dangerous weapons or prohibited items and
afterwards bring the arrested individual at the police station for proper filing of the case,‖
the NBI said. However, on Kian‘s case, the NBI said ―PO3 Arnel Oares and his cohorts
accosted victim and afterwards dragged him towards Tullahan River and shot him without
mercy.‖ The NBI said Kian was killed in the area opposite the police station ―which proves
that they [police] have no intention in bringing victim to their police office.‖

Ballistic examination conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory
showed that a 9mm that was found in the crime scene has the same characteristic as
that of the 9mm pistol issued to Oares. The NBI noted that the same firearm also yielded
positive for gun powder nitrate residue.

―Given the circumstances, gathered evidence proved that it was PO3 Arnel Oares who
shot the victim,‖ the NBI stated in its complaint. Paraffin examination, the NBI added,
showed that Kian was negative on both is hands negating ―the allegations that victim
fired shots at them upon sensing their arrival so they have no other option than to fire
back at victim, hitting him in the head causing his instantaneous death.‖ The police
argued that Kian has a .45 caliber pistol and two sachets of shabu.

But the NBI pointed out that Kian was only wearing boxer shorts making it easier for the
police to spot the firearm when they accosted him. The complaint was signed by NBI
Director Dante Gierran. A criminal complaint is already pending before the DOJ also for
murder and torture were filed by Kian‘s parents against the same police officers. JE

(3) The case of Carl Arnaiz

PNP autopsy shows Carl Arnaiz had 'difficulty' fighting back 73

Camille Elemia - Rappler.com / 5:33 PM, September 05, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Teenager Carl Arnaiz had a ―difficult‖ time fighting back Caloocan
police, an autopsy on the 19-year-old showed.

Police Chief Inspector Jocelyn Cruz of the Northern Police Crime Lab bared the results of
the autopsy on Arnaiz at a Senate hearing on the death of another teenager, Kian delos
Santos, on Tuesday, September 5.

72 Tetch Tupas-Torres, Kian was killed without mercy — NBI, August 31, 2017, available at:
complaint. Last accessed on August 15, 2018.
73 Camille Elemia, PNP autopsy shows Carl Arnaiz had 'difficulty' fighting back, Rappler.com, September 5,

2017, available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/181188-carl-arnaiz-autopsy-senate-hearing. Last

accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Cruz said she conducted the autopsy on August 28, or 10 days after police killed Arnaiz in a
supposed shootout, after a taxi driver sought help from police and identified him as the one
who robbed him. (READ: In 2 affidavits, cabbie forgets then remembers Carl Arnaiz)

Cruz testified at the Senate hearing that the teenager could not have fought police that

―Based on the body of the victim, there were multiple gunshots. It means the victim wasn‘t
able to fight back that easily. That‘s my personal analysis,‖ the police officer said.

―Based on his physique – he was tall – there‘s a possibility to fight back but he had
difficulty in fighting back,‖ she added.

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV later clarified if Cruz‘s statement is her ―personal or
professional‖ analysis – to which Cruz said, ―Professional opinion, Your Honor.‖

Cruz cited the trajectory of the shots, indicating that the shooter was in a standing position
while Arnaiz was lying on the floor.

―Almost all of the wounds were going upwards, which would indicate that possibly the
assailant was in standing position and the victim or Carl is in a lower position compared to
the assailant,‖ Cruz said.

―[He could be] in a lying position, with his back on the ground and face upwards,‖ Cruz

Poe remarked, ―May mga overkill dito (There's overkill here).‖

Autopsy results
Cruz said she found a swelling on Arnaiz‘s right eye, a bruise on his eyelid, two bruises on
his wrist, and multiple abrasions in the middle chest and at the lower back.

Cruz also found 5 gunshot wounds – in the right side of the chest, in the lower part of the
chest, in the middle part of the chest, in the left part of the chest, and in the abdominal

Public Attorney Office‘s forensic head Erwin Erfe conducted a separate autopsy and also
found 5 gunshot wounds – 3 in the middle of the chest, one in the left side of the chest,
and one in the back of the upper arm.

Erfe also said Arnaiz had ―marks of handcuffs‖ and ―swollen eyes.‖ Both said the teenager
could have been dragged.

―There is an extensive abrasion. He may have been dragged,‖ Erfe said.

Cruz said: ―Abrasion could have been caused by friction to a rough surface. It‘s possible [he
was dragged]. The abrasions were irregularly shaped, paguhit-guhit po (they formed lines)."

The PNP Crime Laboratory also said in the hearing that Arnaiz tested positive for
gunpowder nitrates.

Senior Superintendent Ligaya Sim of the PNP Crime Laboratory said Arnaiz used a .38
revolver with no serial number.

Senate public order committee chair Panfilo Lacson said the taxi driver would be invited to
the next hearing, following his two contradicting affidavits.

12. Thousands were also killed by supposed unidentified vigilante squads.

Complainants assert that these death squads are also part of the police and the state
security forces as proven by:

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

12.1. Direct evidence as in certain cases such as:

(a) The killing of Zenaida Luz in Mindoro Oriental on October 9, 201674

Oriental Mindoro cops face murder raps over ‗riding-in-tandem‘ case

Bea Cupin - Rappler.com / updated 1:17 PM, October 13, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Two young police commissioned officers, both graduates of the
Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA), face murder and direct assault charges for
allegedly gunning down a leader of a local watchdog.

According to a Manila Bulletin report, Senior Inspector Magdalino G. Pimentel, Jr. and
Inspector Markson S. Almeranez face charges for supposedly killing Zenaida Luz, Citizens
Crime Watch regional chairperson.

Pimentel, a member of the PNPA class of 2009, is from the Oriental Mindoro Police Public
Safety Company while Almeranez, who ranked fifth in the PNPA class of 2013, is chief of
the Socorro town police office. Almeranez was recently awarded by PNP chief Director
General Ronald dela Rosa himself during a recent visit to Calapan City.

The two officers supposedly gunned down Luz on Sunday, October 8, in front of her house
in Gloria town, Oriental Mindoro.

Pimentel and Almeranez, according to the news report, were riding a motorcycle and in
civilian clothes when they shot Luz close to midnight on Sunday. A police mobile team
later chanced upon the 2 cops after getting a call from a barangay captain. They were
supposedly seen fleeing the crime scene.

Police chased down the two young officers up to the neighboring town Pinamalayan,
where one of the suspects started shooting. There, they were wounded and cornered,
according to the news report.

Pimentel was supposedly wearing a ―bonnet and hoodie jacket‖ while the younger officer
was wearing a ―facemask and a wig to disguise himself.‖ A 45-caliber pistol and .38
caliber pistol were seized from the 2.

Almeranez was recently awarded by PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa himself
during a recent visit to Calapan City.

(b) The attack on Barangay Councilor Jessielou Cadungog on July 30, 2018
in Cebu City, Central Visayas Region 75

Anti-drug cop killed

Nestle L. Semilla and Ador Vincent S. Mayol|July 30,2018, 10:48 PM

Parian policeman tried to ambush village dad but was gunned down by his bodyguard;
PRO-7 claims cops on surveillance operation when shot, and orders arrest of brgy official.

Tejero Barangay Councilor Jessielou Cadungog started changing his routine after
receiving a text message that he was the target of an assassination plot. Past 8 a.m. on
Monday, one of the two men on board a motorcycle tried to shoot at his heavily-tinted
Toyota FJ Cruiser along T. Padilla Extension in Cebu City.

74 Bea Cupin, Oriental Mindoro cops face murder raps over ‗riding-in-tandem‘ case, Rappler.com, updated
October 13, 2016, available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/149058-oriental-mindoro-cops-face-
murder-raps-riding-in-tandem. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
75 Nestle L. Semilla and Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Anti-drug cop killed, Cebu Daily News, July 30, 2017,

available at: http://cebudailynews.inquirer.net/187030/anti-drug-cop-killed. Last accessed on August 26,


Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

But the attempt was foiled by Cadungog‘s bodyguard who shot and killed the assailant.
The attacker, however, turned out to be a policeman — PO3 Eugene Alcain Calumba, a
member of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Parian Police Station in Cebu City.

Calumba‘s companion Michael Banua, an anti-crime volunteer, was collared by barangay

tanods and arrested.

Both Calumba and Banua have barcode tattoos on their left wrists.

But the story took a bizarre twist when the Central Visayas police sought to turn the
tables on Cadungog, saying it was the village official and his bodyguard who attacked

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, head of the Central Visayas police, ordered the arrest of
Cadungog and his bodyguard for allegedly attacking Calumba

Proof of State Sponsored Killings: Three Elements of a Pattern

12.2. Unlike the cases of Luz and Cadungog, many of these death squads
managed to escape after the kill. However, Complainants assert that just like the
perpetrators in the cases of Luz and Cadungog, these death squads are also part
of the police force. There is a pattern. These killings were committed by state
security forces as proven by the three badges of impunity consisting of the
following three elements of a single pattern in many of these killings by supposed
vigilante squads namely:

i. Public vilification of the victims

a. President Duterte has publicly vilified those involved in drugs as dregs

of society who must be killed and eliminated to rid society of the drug
problem. These are notable in his public statements before the media
and on several occasions.

b. Likewise, the circumstances after the killings of John Jezreel David and
two others illustrate the attempt to vilify them by filing criminal charges,
after the fact of their death and even as against their heirs. In the
killings of Djastin Lopez and Crisanto and Juan Carlos Lozano, police
produced thereafter criminal records and documents, as if to justify
their deaths.

ii. Brazenness of the execution of the victims.

a. The killings were done, often in public places, in broad daylight and in
front of many witnesses, showing that the perpetrators were never
afraid at all of being accosted by government authorities.

b. These are clearly illustrated in the killing of Salvador Locasia who was
taken by police operatives in a wake; the killings of Danilo Dacumos,
Bernabe Sabangan and Arnold Vitales which took place inside their
houses where their relatives and friends saw and heard them pleading
for their lives.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

iii. The government‘s lack of interest to investigate and prosecute the crime
and the perpetrators.

a. The government is more zealous in the prosecution of alleged drug

addicts and pushers, even if deceased, than police who allegedly
murdered the suspects. This is clearly illustrated in the case of John
Jezreel David, whose drug possession charge was still absurdly filed in
court even after his death.

b. The government also justifies the death of persons during police

operations as necessary for law and order, as they were either
suspected criminals or were involved in drugs, despite lack of proof of
the same.

13. The numbers churned out by President Duterte‘s administration as to its

alleged actions on killings are very low, with only an alleged nine (9) personnel convicted
out of an alleged 219 verified cases of extrajudicial killings as of March 27, 2017,76
considering that thousands have died by this time. Worse, it is not even clear if these
cases are related to the EJKs in the anti drug operations, or personal acts of police
personnel unrelated to the anti-drug campaign.

14. Referring to the data released by Real Numbers by March 2018, there are
a total of 2,467 drug-related homicide incidents wherein 1,752 cases were under
investigation and 715 cases were solved.77 How these cases were ―solved‖ is not clear
from these police reports although it is common knowledge that this merely means a
suspect has been arrested or surrendered. In any case, with only 1,752 cases being
investigated out of the thousands of those who were killed whether by the police during
anti-drug operations, or by unidentified vigilante groups, it is almost impossible for the
victims‘ families to get speedy justice for the killing of their loved ones.

15. Despite an order from the Supreme Court to submit incident reports and
relevant documents, the government counsel has initially refused to provide these to the
petitioners and the public,78 indicating either failure to even record the incident or that
any investigation was undertaken.

16. Additionally, police investigations of the killings during operations have

been insignificant, if any79. This is even if the Rules of Engagement under the Revised
PNP Operational Procedures under Rule 15.4 requires the conduct of inquest in cases
where police operations resulted in death, to wit:
76 ―Data provided by the Department of Justice show that as of March 27, 2017, there are 219 verified
cases of extrajudicial killings… 21 cases were on trial, 64 have been archived and 76 have been
terminated.‖ Of the terminated cases, only 9 were convicted and 11 were acquitted. The rest were
dismissed by the National Prosecution Service, the Ombudsman and the Supreme Court. Lian Buan, Is DOJ
turning a blind eye to EJKs? De Lima and Aguirre exchange claims, Rappler.com, July 21, 2017, available
at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/176307-leila-de-lima-aguirre-ejk. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
77 PNP: 4,251 drug personalities killed, over 142K arrested in drug war, ABS-CBN News, May 7, 2018,

available at: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/05/07/18/pnp-4251-drug-personalities-killed-over-142k-

arrested-in-drug-war. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
78 Lian Buan, SC compels government to provide full Tokhang documentation, Rappler.com, April 11, 2018,

available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/199457-supreme-court-compels-government-tokhang-

documentation. With embedded link to Supreme Court resolution. Last accesed on August 26, 2018.
79 See Annex ―B‖, Real Numbers PH report card as of July 31, 2017.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

―Inquest Proceeding Necessary When the Suspect Dies In cases of

armed confrontation wherein the suspect dies, the Team Leader of the
operating unit shall submit the incident for inquest before the duty
Inquest Prosecutor prior to the removal of the body from the scene,
except in areas where there are no Inquest Prosecutors. In which case,
the territorial police unit can proceed with the investigation.‖ 80

16.1. If this rule was followed, there should be at least 4,410 police
investigations at present. However, no inquest has been undertaken in most

17. President Duterte has knowledge of the killings and other attacks on the
civilian population, as a result or in the context of the ―war on drugs‖.

17.1. The spike in the number of deaths during police operations were
widely reported in the media as well as subject of the reports submitted to
President Duterte.81

17.2. The number of killings committed by supposedly unidentified

vigilante squads were also reported in the media as well as reports of the police
to President Duterte.

17.3. President Duterte has even publicly acknowledged these killings. In

fact, the Accomplishment Report of the Office of the President in December 2017
reported on its ―gains‖ in the anti-drug operations and reported on the number of
those killed.82 President Duterte in his accomplishment report boasted that a total
of 79,193 anti-drug operations were conducted from July 1, 2016 to November
27, 2017.83 The Accomplishment Report claimed that 118,287 drug personalities
were arrested, and 3,967 drug personalities died in the anti-drug operations in

80 PNP Manuals may be downloaded from their website. The PNP Operational Procedures (PNPM-DO-DS-3-
2-13) is available at: http://pnp.gov.ph/images/Manuals_and_Guides/pop_manual_2013-1.pdf. Last
accessed in August 24, 2018.
81 See note 77.
82 Bea Kirstein Manalaysay, Palace cites drug war accomplishment on year-end report, Philippine

Canadian Inquirer, December 26, 2017, available at:

report/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
Excerpt: ―While the report had sections for the accomplishments of each department, it also allotted a
section called ―Fighting Illegal Drugs.‖ The section named ―#RealNumbers‖ cited figures from different
It said that a total of 79,193 anti-drug operations were conducted from July 1, 2016 to November
27, 2017. 118,287 drug personalities were arrested, and 3,967 drug personalities died in the anti-drug
operations in the same time frame. However, the report said that 16,355 homicide cases from July 1,
2016 to September 30, 2017 are currently under investigation.
Meanwhile, it reiterated that from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017, those who surrendered reached
1,308,078, and that 4,747 barangays were declared drug-free as of November 27 this year.
The drug war section also cited the developments on the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
(PDEA) leading the campaign.
It also included the previous head of the said campaign – the Philippine National Police (PNP) –
and its internal cleansing, citing the dismissal of cops related to drugs and to the case of Carl Arnaiz, a 19-
year-old student whose death the cops were linked to
83 A copy of The Duterte Administration Year-End Report 2017 Key Accomplishments, with relevant pages,

is attached as Annex ―G‖.

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Situation in the Philippines

the same time frame. This shows that President Duterte evidently has actual
knowledge of the killings and the arrests going on all over the country.

17.4. And yet, despite the fact that he has publicly expressed his hatred
for criminality, President Duterte has never condemned much less ordered a
crackdown on vigilante killings, as if he does not consider killings by unidentified
armed men as criminal acts worthy of his condemnation.

17.5. President Duterte has encouraged ALL these killings and even
promised to back up and pardon members of his police should they be charged in

In a speech, he has said: ―Kasi kung magkamali sila, pardon. [if

they commit a wrong, I will pardon them. ] The president can
grant pardon, absolute or conditional. Ang presidente hindi mo
mademanda o sige larga tayo. Giyera? O sige. Patayin mo lahat
ng mga p— i— iyan. ‗Sir, may kaso kami.‘ Pardon. [kill all the sons
of bitches. sir, we are being prosecuted.‘ Pardon] Ganoon
kakapal, good for one battalion. O fill in the blank. Pirmado ko na
iyan. Ilagay mo pangalan mo. 'Pag punta mo doon sa
Ombudsman, sa fiscal, oh, oh,‖ Duterte said.[this is how thick it
is, good for one batallion or fill in the blank. I signed it already,
just put your name, then you go to the Ombudsman or the
prosecutor, oh oh] 84

18. Based on the above facts and arguments, President Rodrigo Duterte is
guilty of Crimes Against Humanity for murder under Article 7, Paragraph 1 (a) of the
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

II. President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally liable for the widespread and systematic
attack against civilians in the form of inhumane acts intentionally causing great
suffering, or serious injury to body or mental or physical health proscribed under
Article 7 Paragraph (k) of the Rome Statute under his anti-drug policy against drug
suspects including Oplan Tokhang, Double Barrel, Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded

19. Complainants replead the above mentioned factual context and illustrative
cases as part of their allegations under this charge.

20. Complainants further aver that the following acts constitute the inhumane
acts under Article 7 (k): namely the extra judicial killing of thousands drug suspects, the
illegal searches in thousands of houses, the arbitrary drug testing of thousands of
civilians even those not suspected of involvement in illegal drugs and the arrest of

84 Trisha Macas, Duterte promises pardon, promotion for law enforcers in legal trouble, GMA News, August
5, 2016, available at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/576506/duterte-promises-
pardon-promotion-for-law-enforcers-in-legal-trouble/story/. Last accessed on August 24, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

thousands under various policies such as Oplan Double Barrel and even the anti-
tambay85 (anti vagrancy campaign):

20.1. All the above acts in Paragraph 14 were undertaken by President

Duterte through his drug war policy.

20.2. The veritable embodiment of this policy is in Command

Memorandum Circular No. 16-201686 issued by then PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa
which contains the following provisions, to wit:


a ―Pronouncement of PRESIDENT RODRIGO R DUTERTE to get

rid of illegal drugs during the first six months of his term‖;



―The PNP intends to equally address illegal drug problems in

the barangays and at the same time pursue the neutralization
of illegal drug personalities as well as the backbone of illegal
drugs network operating in the country‖.[underscoring supplied]

20.3. As part of President Duterte‘s anti-drug campaign through Oplan

Double Barrel, the police conducted illegal searches in thousands of homes,
especially of the poor who live in urban poor community. They also conducted
arbitrary drug testing among thousands of civilians without due process and in
violation of a slew of constitutional rights.

21. Complainants assert that the orders to kill were ingrained in the publicly
declared statements of President Duterte exhorting the police and the people to kill drug
addicts because they are, in his words, ―not human‖: 87

22. The constant and infinite hate speech against suspected, mostly petty,
drug users by President Duterte is enough public verbal incitement to kill them. This is
taken in the context of the Davao Death Squad vigilante killings, allegedly upon his
orders when he was mayor of the city. Indeed, his public statements become clearer
when he brags about his record in Davao City.88
85 Matthew Reysio-Cruz, No letup in anti-‗tambay‘ drive: 26,792 arrested, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 3,
2018, available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1006341/no-letup-in-anti-tambay-drive-26792-arrested.
Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
86 The memorandum is attached as Annex ―H‖.
87 Marlon Ramos, ‗Junkies are not humans‘, Inquirer,net, August 28, 2016, available at:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/810395/junkies-are-not-humans. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

88 Pia Ranada, Duterte: 'Thousands' killed in Davao City drug war, Rappler.com, February 24, 2017,

available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/162469-duterte-thousands-criminals-deaths-davao. See

also: Claire Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall, How a secretive police squad racked up kills in Duterte's
drug war, Reuters, December 19, 2017, available at: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-
report/philippines-drugs-squad/. (The ―Davao boys‖, alleged members of the DDS, have been transplanted
to Manila.). The boys from Davao, Reuters, December 19, 2017, available at:
http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/PHILIPPINES-DRUGS/01006028044/index.html. (Feature on

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

23. Additionally, the written policies may even be implied orders to execute
drug suspects. Policies like Oplan Double Barrel above refers to both the ―neutralization‖
or the killing of drug suspects whose names are part of the much feared drug list of
President Duterte as one barrel, and the other barrel refers to the high profile campaign
to arrest hundreds of thousands of drug suspects.
23.1. The term ―neutralization‖ mentioned in Command Circular No. 16-
2016 has been referred to as the act of killing by human rights groups and even
by state security forces themselves.89

23.2. The police use the term ―neutralize‖ to refer to ―killing‖ as proven
by police documents themselves:

a) The PNP Website contains the following report:

―Despite the loss of 44 police commandos, the Special Action
Force accomplished its mission to neutralize international
terrorist bomber Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan‖. Zulkifli
Marwan was killed in that encounter in Mamasapano, thus

b) The PNP 2016 Annual Report also contained the

following use of ‗neutralization‘ 90 :

―For the fight against terrorism, from January 1 to December

31, 2016, 33 CNN personalities and 94 SPSG personalities
were neutralized by combined PNP and AFP personnel.
Participated in the Local Joint Reward Valuation Committee
(LJRVC) Meeting on the neutralization of Basit Usman‖ Basit
Usman was killed, hence ―neutralized‖.

23.3. In the present milieu, police who were involved in Oplan Double
Barrel routinely used the same language in their Police Joint Affidavit as
exemplified by the case of Efren Morillo:91

Excerpts from a news report: ―The Police Joint Affidavit of PO3

Allan Formilleza et al, duly sworn to before Asst. City
Prosecutor Raymond Oliver on August 26, 2016 regarding the
killing of Marcelo Daa and three others at the hands of the
police raiding team referred to neutralization to mean killing:

the squad in Quezon City Police Station 6, which ―overzealously‖ conducted the house to house drug tests
in this complaint‘ paragraph 32.1.) All articles last accessed on August 27, 2018.
89 In 2007, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Prof. Philip Alston definitively concluded that the

term ―neutralization‖ was simply the summary execution of civilians during the time of former President
and now Speaker Gloria Arroyo. His mission report in 2007 and in 2008 have been uploaded and linked on
the index of reports at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Executions/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx. Last
accessed on August 24, 2018.
90 PNP 2016 Annual Report page 36, available at:

http://www.pnp.gov.ph/images/publications/AR2016.pdf. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

91 Patricia Evangelista, The Fifth Man, Rappler.com, December 5, 2017, available at:

quezon-city. Last accesssed on August 26, 2018.

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―That, at the instance, our team took cover and introduce

ourselves as Police Officers, and one of them shouted ―Hindi
kami papahuling buhay‖ (translation: ―we will not allow
ourselves to be arrested alive‖).

―With no recourse, our team retaliated which resulted in the

NEUTRALIZATION of the said suspects on the process causing
the instantaneous deaths of Marcelo Daa and three of his
cohorts.: 92

23.4. The term neutralization was again mentioned to refer to killing

during the cross examination of the accused PO3 Formilleza during the hearing of
the case filed against him on October 10, 2017, as shown in the Court
Transcripts, to wit:

Prosecutor Kho: So you mentioned that the three men

apparently were neutralized

PO3 Allan Formilleza: Yes Sir93

23.5. Police reports on ―tokhang‖ operations are as illustrative. 94 In a

survey of police reports by the Manila Police District (MPD) between August to
December 2016, the use of the term is synonymous to fatal shooting:

a) Spot Report of the Manila Police District (MPD) dated August 12,
2016, on the shooting of Arnold D. Malinao and Romano E. Mangundayao
by the District Anti-Illegal Drugs (DAID) unit and the District Police
Intelligence Operatives unit (DPIOU) :

―Until both met their tragic (sic) when they fought with combined
elements of SAID MPD and DPIOU in a buy bust operation wherein the two
suspects was (sic) neutralized that resulted to their death (sic).‖

b) Spot Report of the MPD dated September 13, 2016, on the

shooting of Lauro B. Sisaldo by Police Station-1:

―At this time, PO1 Obillo who was seated at the driver‘s side sensed that
the life of his comrades (sic) in danger instinctively draws his service
firearm and shot P-2 to neutralized (sic) the latter. Immediately they
rushed P-2 at Tondo Medical Center for medical intervention but was
declared dead-on-arrival‖.

c) Spot Report of the MPD dated October 7, 2016, on the shooting of

Macabato Mohd Faiz Alimbaracat and a certain ―Malik‖ by the Regional
Public Safety Battalion:

92 Id.
93 Id.
94 Attached as Annex ―I‖is a compendium of police reports from the MPD and QCPD, reflecting the term


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Situation in the Philippines

―Sensing that his life was in imminent danger having no choice PO3
Panganiban fire (sic) back as a result was able to neutralize the suspect.‖

d) Spot Report of the MPD dated October 14, 2016, on the ―police
operation which resulted to an armed encounter‖ and with four
unidentified persons dead on the spot:

―At that juncture, responding policemen upon sensing that their lives were
in imminent dangers (sic) had no other choice but to retaliate and defend
themselves and to neutralize all suspects.‖

e) Spot Report of the MPD dated December 15, 2016, on the shooting
of Jay-R D. Estreller by the Police Station-6, Station Anti-Illegal Drugs
(SAID) unit:

―Sensing imminent and actual danger on their lives, the lawmen had no
other recourse but to shoot to neutralize their armed aggressors. When
the smoke of the gun fires (sic) subsided P1 and P2 lay mortally wounded
in the pavement.‖

f) Spot Report of the MPD dated December 17, 2016, on the shooting
of Delfin S. Sicson by the Police Station-6, SAID unit:

―Sensing imminent and actual danger on his life the police officer has no
other recourse but to shoot to neutralize his armed aggressor.
Immediately thereafter, PI-1 was rushed to the Sta. Ana hospital for
medical treatment but (sic) declared expired thereat by attending

23.6. Comparatively, a survey of police reports by the Quezon City Police

District (QCPD) between June to July 2016 shows that neutralization means the
same in a different part of the metropolis:

a) Spot Report of the QCPD dated June 21, 2016, on the shooting of
Asnawe M. Ala and Khalid M. Amintao led by the regional Criminal
Investigation and Detection (CIDG) unit:

―Investigation further disclosed that after a brief chase and at stated

TDPO, exchanged (sic) of fire was (sic) ensued between policemen and
the said suspects. As a result of which, same suspects were cornered and
subsequently neutralized by the responding police officers. Immediately,
the wounded suspects were rushed to East Avenue Medical Center by
PO3 Basa and PO1 Mendez of City Hall Detachment but both were
declared dead on arrival at around 4:05 AM….‖

b) Spot Report of the QCPD dated June 25, 2016, on the shooting of
Darwin Moralla, a certain ―Vergel/Rigor‖, and an unidentified person by
the DAID unit:

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Situation in the Philippines

―As a result hereof, an exchange of gunfire ensued that resulted in the

neutralization of the three (3) male suspects in the process while their
five (5) other companions managed to escape and eluded arrest.‖

c) Spot Report of the QCPD dated July 5, 2016, on the conduct of

―Oplan Tokhang‖ and shooting of Artemio B. Aclan by the SAID unit:

―Then and there, suspect for reason of his own (sic) took his handgun and
fired directly towards the pursuing lawmen prompting them to retaliate.
As a result thereof, the suspect was neutralized in the process.‖

d) Spot Report of the QCPD dated July 6, 2016, on the encounter with
two unidentified males by Police Station 5 personnel:

―However, both suspect abruptly drew their respective firearms and fired
directly towards the pursuing lawmen prompting them to retaliate. As a
result thereof, one of the suspects was neutralized in the process while
his cohort was able to escape and eventually eluded arrest.‖

e) Spot Report of the QCPD dated July 8, 2016, on the shooting of a

certain ―Ver‖ by the Police Station 6, SAID unit:

―However, upon sensing the presence of policemen, suspect suddenly

drew his firearm and fired directly towards the police operatives,
prompting them to retaliate and neutralized the suspect causing his
instantaneous death on the spot.‖

24. The anguish caused by these deaths have had great impact on the lives of
the surviving families, most especially the women. After the killing of Salvador Dacumos,
his wife Purisima has to fend for herself, her children, and her grandchildren. 95 After the
killing of Djastin Lopez, his mother Normita Lopez and other family members have
experienced threats and intimidation. 96 Commonly, they have sentiments of
helplessness, paranoia, and fear for their lives and liberties.

25. Other than the killings, thousands were visited in their homes, illegally
arrested, and many were reported tortured in detention.

25.1. The following facts were admitted by the police during the period of
July 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017:

Total number of houses ―visited‖ : 7,000,067 houses,

Total number of persons arrested : 52,877
Total number of surrenderees : 1,177,81797

95 See the affidavit of P. Dacumos in Annex ―E‖.

96 See affidavit of N. Lopez in Annex ―E‖.
97 Joseph Tristan Roxas, PNP: Number of houses visited in anti-drug campaign tops 7 million, GMA News,

January 29, 2017, available at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/597489/pnp-number-of-

houses-visited-in-anti-drug-campaign-tops-7-million/story/. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

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Situation in the Philippines

25.2. The number above substantially increased in 2018. In most of

these thousands of operations, the police were not armed with a warrant or any
judicial authority, much less a valid one - to conduct the searches, the arrests,
and the drug testing.

26. Of the more than a million supposedly arrested by the PNP, many were
arrested without warrant in violation of the Constitutional prohibition against invalid
warrantless arrests.

27. Many of those arrested were not committing a crime, in delicto, which
means they could not be proper subject of a warrantless arrest.

28. Furthermore, many of those arrested were not read their Miranda rights, or
apprised of the basic rights to remain silent or to counsel.

29. Many of those arrested languished in jails for days or even weeks without
charges in violation of their constitutional rights under Republic Act 7438 on the ―Rights
of Persons Arrested, Detained or under Custodial Investigation‖ as well as the Revised
Penal Code of the Philippines

30. Such heinous human rights abuses are suffered by thousands arrested by
the police on mere suspicion or for non-existent crimes.

31. Many of those arrested are minors as even admitted by the police who
declared in their PNP Report that Oplan Double Barrel and Tokhang netted many minors
who ―surrendered‖.

32. The arbitrary drug testing they imposed on people in urban poor
communities are not only a violation of their constitutional rights, but are persecutory in
nature as they are mainly focused on the poor.

32.1. The National Union of People‘s Lawyers (NUPL), a national

association of human rights lawyers representing residents, filed a Petition in
court to declare the house visitation, census98, and drug testing in Payatas, an
urban poor shovel in Quezon City, as unconstitutional.99 The Quezon City police
chief admitted that the actions of the police were ―overzealous‖. Thereafter,
police announced that they are suspending said drug testing. 100

98 A copy of the survey form required by the Quezon City police, specifically by Police Station 6, is attached
as Annex ―J‖.
99 Docketed as Civil Case No. Civil Case No. R-QZN-17-10157CV at the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City

Branch 100. The petition argues that the house visitations and community drug testing violate the right to
privacy and right against unreasonable searches and seizure, as well as the right against self-incrimination
and presumption of innocence, as guaranteed by the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
100 Manuel Mogato, PNP halts drug tests after QC residents petition court, Reuters, September 11, 2017,

available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-drugs/philippine-police-halt-drug-tests-after-

residents-petition-court-idUSKCN1BN0FP. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.

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32.2. Information received by the NUPL, however, show that these drug
testing still continued.101

32.3. In fact the PDEA publicly announced a plan to subject primary

school children aged 10 years old and above to ―random‖ drug testing. 102

33. The victims in this particular charge, namely those who were killed and
their families, those whose residence were illegally searched and often ransacked in
search of drugs, those who were arrested, tortured, detained, and those subjected to
arbitrary drug testing are civilians, in the sense that they are not combatants in any war.
Their homes routinely illegally searched without warrant and they were subjected to drug
testing and other forms of humiliations and intimidation, as well as other human rights

33.1. The attacks were widespread and pervasive as these abuses

happened in many areas in the Philippines and the various cities and

33.2. The attacks were systematic and were committed by state security
forces and were even provided, as a policy under various Directives such as in MC
Circular 16-2016 on Oplan Double Barrel

34. These attacks are correlative to other forms of inhumane acts, committed
widespread and systematic, already penalized by the ICC.103

101 See QCPD eyes bringing back house-to-house drug tests, Philippine Star, May 11,. 2018, available at:
tests. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
102 David Santos, PDEA Chief wants mandatory drug testing for 10-year-old students, CNN Philippines,

June 21, 2018, available at: http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/06/21/PDEA-Chief-wants-mandatory-

drug-testing-for-10-year-old-students.html. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
103 A) In the Akeyasu case, the ICTR considered sexual violence, other than the criminal act of rape, as a

crime against humanity. Here, the court defined what constitutes rape so that the Accused could still be
held liable for sexual violence as other inhumane acts, in this wise:
―Rape is a physical invasion of a sexual nature, committed on a person under circumstances
which are coercive. The Tribunal considers sexual violence, which includes rape, as any act of a
sexual nature which is committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive. Sexual
violence is not limited to physical invasion of the human body and may include acts which do not
involve penetration or even physical contact…. Sexual violence falls within the scope of ―other
inhumane acts‖, set forth in Article 3(i) of the Tribunal‘s Statute, ―outrages upon personal dignity,‖
set forth in Article 4(e) of the Statute, and ―serious bodily or mental harm,‖ set forth in Article 2(2)
(b) of the Statute.‖
B) The ad hoc tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) considered forcible transfer of people as an act
constituting other inhumane acts because the ICTY statute enumerated only deportation as among the
crimes against humanity. Considering the absence of standards defining what constitutes ―other inhumane
acts,‖ the ICTY decided to use human rights and international humanitarian law norms to conclude that
forcible transfer of people as one falling under other inhumane acts in the case of Kupreskic and Krstic.
C) The Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council case concluded that
forced marriage falls within the category of ―other inhumane acts‖ considering that ―it [forced marriage] is
not predominantly a sexual crime‖ therefore it cannot be subsumed into the crime of rape.
D) The ICTY also recognized attempted murder as among those falling within the category of ―other
inhumane acts‖ in the case of Vaseljevic, claiming that the said acts constituted ―serious attack on their
[victims] human dignity‖ and ―immeasurable mental suffering.‖

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Individual criminal responsibility attaches

to President Duterte for crimes against

A. President Rodrigo Duterte is criminally responsible and liable for the above
mentioned murders, and other inhumane acts, under Article 25, paragraphs 2
and 3 of the Rome Statute being the most senior leader and most responsible for
these crimes.

35. Individual criminal responsibility attaches to President Duterte according

to the parameters of Article 25 of the Rome Statue, to wit:

Article 25. Individual Criminal Responsibility

2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be
individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute

3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible

and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that

a. Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with

another or through another person, regardless of whether that
other person is criminally responsible;

b. Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in

fact occurs or is attempted;

c. For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids,

abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted
commission, including providing the means for its commission;

d. In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted

commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a
common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall

i. Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or

criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose
involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the
Court; or

ii. Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to

commit the crime; x x x

36. The concept of individual criminal responsibility is that ―any person who
commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor
and liable to punishment‖. It constitutes official recognition of the fact that an individual
— in the broadest sense (―any person‖) — may be held responsible for having committed

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

a crime.104 The ICC pursues a policy of individual criminal responsibility for those ―most

37. Article 25 is therefore intrinsically linked with the elements of a crime. In

order to establish an offender‘s criminal responsibility, it leans on the elements of crimes
that are required to be fulfilled. This implicates that the actus rea (the act itself) and the
mens rea (the intention behind the act) need to be present. Actus non facit reum nisi
mens sit rea, meaning that the acts does not make one guilty unless it coincides with a
guilty intention. 106

38. In the case at bar, Complainants have shown that President Duterte
committed the acts of Crimes Against Humanity and had every intention of committing
these acts. The direction and instructions – as well as the open incitement and
encouragement and assurances of impunity -- for the murders and inhumane acts, so
widespread and systematic, constituting crimes against humanity, come from no less
than President Duterte himself.

38.1. By his words and actions, President Duterte is the perpetrator and
most responsible for the killings and other horrific acts. He has consistently stated
that he is responsible for the ―war on drugs‖.107 He has even acknowledged the
ongoing preliminary examination by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, threatening
that he would arrest the Prosecutor should she persist in investigating him.108
38.2. President Duterte has ordered and incited the killings,
―neutralization‖ of drug addicts, and other police action related to the ―war on
drugs‖ through his series of vitriolic statements and official memoranda. The
implementation of Oplan Double Barrel, Double Barrel Alpha, and Double Barrel
Reloaded is under his control and direction through his personally-appointed head
of the Philippine National Police.

104 International Law Commission, a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly adopted a report on the
―Principles of International Law Recognised in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment
of the Tribunal‖
105 8 ICC-OTP, Paper on some policy issues before the Office of the Prosecutor, 2003, 7 (available at:

60AA962ED8B6/143594/030905_Policy_Paper.pdf); ICC-OTP, Strategic Plan 2016-2018, dated July 6,
2015, (available at: https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/070715- OTP_Strategic_Plan_2016-2018.pdf);
ICC-OTP, Policy Paper on case selection and prioritisation, dated September 15, 2016, (available at:
https://www.icccpi.int/itemsDocuments/20160915_OTP-Policy_Case-Selection_Eng.pdf). Last accessed
on August 26, 2018.
106 M. E. BaDar, ―The Mental Element in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: A

Commentary from a Comparative Criminal Law Perspective‖, Criminal Law Forum, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2008,
107 See generally: Marlon Ramos, Duterte: I‘m responsible for war vs drugs, Philippine Daily Inquirer,

August 16, 2016, available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/806517/duterte-im-responsible-for-war-vs-

drugs, and Ed Margareth Barahan, Duterte tells Church, HRW he‘s responsible for war on drugs,
Inquirer.net, March 4, 2017, available at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/877391/duterte-tells-church-hrw-
hes-responsible-for-war-on-drugs. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
108 'I will arrest you': Duterte warns ICC lawyer to steer clear of Philippines, Reuters, April 12, 2018,

available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-duterte-icc/i-will-arrest-you-duterte-warns-icc-

lawyer-to-steer-clear-of-philippines-idUSKBN1HK0DS. Additionally, Duterte has erroneously claimed that
the ICC has no jurisdiction over him. Jhoanna Ballaran, Duterte to ICC: You can‘t acquire jurisdiction over
me not in a million years, Inquirer. Net, March 6, 2018, available at:
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/164822/duterte-icc-cant-acquire-jurisdiction-not-million-years. Last
accessed on August 26, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

38.3. President Duterte has given all these instructions and guidance
knowingly and consciously, with full intention and consideration of the

B. President Rodrigo Duterte is also criminally responsible, under the principle of

command responsibility under Article 28, paragraphs (a) and (b), being the
commander and superior authority over the police and other state security forces
who committed the above mentioned acts of murder, inhumane acts, and other
forms of persecution in the implementation of his policy against suspected drug
and crime suspects.

39. Additionally, the liability of President Duterte also stems from command
responsibility. Article 28 of the Rome Statute provides:

Article 28. Responsibility of commanders and other superiors

In addition to other grounds of criminal responsibility under this Statute for crimes
within the jurisdiction of the Court:


b. With respect to superior and subordinate relationships not

described in paragraph (a), a superior shall be criminally responsible for
crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed by subordinates
under his or her effective authority and control, as a result of his or her
failure to exercise control properly over such subordinates, where:

i. The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded

information which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were
committing or about to commit such crimes;
ii. The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective
responsibility and control of the superior; and
iii. The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable
measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their
commission or to submit the matter to the competent
authorities for investigation and prosecution.

40. That military commanders and other persons occupying positions of

superior authority may be held criminally responsible for the unlawful conduct of their
subordinates is a well-established norm of customary and conventional international law.
This criminal liability may arise either out of the positive acts of the superior (sometimes
referred to as "direct" command responsibility) or from his culpable omissions ("indirect"
command responsibility or command responsibility strictu sensu). Thus, a superior may
be held criminally responsible not only for ordering, instigating or planning criminal acts
carried out by his subordinates, but also for failing to take measures to prevent or
repress the unlawful conduct of his subordinates. 109 On both scores, President Duterte
must be held to account.

109International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International
Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, Judgement, Case No IT-
96-21-T, dated November 6, 1998, par. 333.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

41. Complainants have clearly proven that President Duterte at the very least
is guilty of crimes against humanity under Article 28 for command responsibility:

41.1. President Duterte has control over his subordinates. Members of

the PNP, PDEA, and their ―assets‖ who participated in the killings either in official
police operations or in vigilante killings are his subordinates of the and he
exercises effective control over them. President Duterte exercises control and
supervision over the PNP through the Department of Interior and Local

41.2. President Duterte knew that his subordinates were committing

crimes within the jurisdiction of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal
Court. Said anti-drug campaign and other activities where the crimes were
committed were not only within the effective responsibility and control of the
President Duterte but he ordered his subordinates to undertake said activities. In
fact, he has not only ordered the killing of drug suspects but even publicly assured
his subordinates that he will defend them if they are prosecuted for the killings
and even pardon them should they be convicted.

41.3. President Duterte not only failed to ―take all necessary and
reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their
commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation
and prosecution‖ but he even exhorted and encouraged his subordinates to
continue their acts constitutive of the crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.

42. Article 28 defines command responsibility as a form of responsibility.

Accordingly, the ICC Legal Requirements Framework sets out the jurisdictional
requirement as the first element: A crime within the jurisdiction of the Court was
committed or was about to be committed by the forces.

43. Complainants have herein shown and proven that the crimes alleged are
not only well within the purview of the ICC, but more so, with the full knowledge of
President Duterte.

43.1. It cannot be denied that President Duterte has actual knowledge of

extra-judicial killings and other rights abuses and violations in the Philippine ―war
on drugs‖ throughout its more than two year run. Actual knowledge may be
defined as the awareness that the relevant crimes were committed or about to be

43.2. Even without his admission, direct evidence may be used to prove
President Duterte‘s knowledge of various and massive contraventions of the
Rome Statute.112 Direct and circumstantial evidence, to prove that he knew of,

110 An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and
Local Government, and for other purposes, R.A. No. 6975 (1990)
111 Special Court for Sierra Leone, Taylor, TC II, Judgement, Case No. SCSL-O3-01-T, dated May 18, 2012,

para. 497.
112 In the ICTY Trial Chamber in Mucić et al. (―Čelebići‖) case, the type of evidence that may be presented

to prove the commander‘s knowledge was enumerated. [I]n the absence of direct evidence of the
superior‘s knowledge of the offences committed by his subordinates, such knowledge cannot be
presumed, but must be established by way of circumstantial evidence. In determining whether a superior,

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

and should have known about the crimes, may include the number of illegal acts,
as he has acknowledged, the participation of the police, the widespread
occurrence of the acts, and the unmistakeable contrived narrative of ―nanlaban‖
across the reports. It is simply impossible for him to be unaware of them. 113

43.3. And even so, his very position, as head of state and of government
is a significant indicium that he knew about the crimes committed by his
subordinates. 114 Indeed, even without the specific identities of all the persons
who committed the killings and other barbaric acts, President Duterte is liable as
their ultimate commander, being in control of all these persons under him. 115
Perpetrators of international crimes often operate in a specific context of mass
violence, in which their crimes are perceived as legitimate and necessary. 116

44. The second element is that there must be a superior-subordinate

relationship between the actual perpetrators of the killings and the inhumane acts, on
the one hand, and of the superior, on the other hand.

44.1. President Duterte, as chief executive, is the head of all law

enforcement in the Philippines. This is a category of military-like commanders that
generally encompasses superiors who have authority and control over regular
government forces such as police armed units. 117

despite pleas to the contrary, in fact must have possessed the requisite knowledge, the Trial Chamber may
consider, inter alia, the following indicia […]:
(a) The number of illegal acts;
(b) The type of illegal acts;
(c) The scope of illegal acts;
(d) The time during which the illegal acts occurred;
(e) The number and type of troops involved;
(f) The logistics involved, if any;
(g) The geographical location of the acts;
(h) The widespread occurrence of the acts;
(i) The tactical tempo of operations;
(j) The modus operandi of similar illegal acts;
(k) The officers and staff involved;
(l) The location of the commander at the time.‖448
[ICTY, Mucic et al., Trial Chamber, Judgement, Case No. IT-96-21-T, November 16, 1998]
113 The standard was upheld in the case of Karemera and Ngirumpatse before the ICTR, where the acts

were found to be so widespread and systematic, it impossible for Minister of the Interior in the interim
government and the President of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development
(MRND), to be unware of the Rwandan genocide. TC III, Judgement, Case No. ICTR-98-44-T, February 2,
2012, para. 1530
114 ICTY, Blaskic, TC, Judgement, Case No. IT-95-14-T, March 3, 2000, paragraph 308; confirmed in ICTY,

Blaskic, AC, Appeal Judgement, Case No. IT-95-14-A, July 29, 2004, paragraphs 54-57.
115 Command responsibility: ―[…] also includes responsibility, for example, for military troops who have

been temporarily assigned to a military commander, if the troops were under the effective control of that
commander at the time when the acts charged in the indictment were committed. […]The superior does
not need to know the exact identity of those subordinates who committed the crimes, to be held
responsible under Article 7(3) of the Statute.‖ ICTY, Perisic, TC I, Judgement, Case No. IT-04-81-T,
September 6, 2011, paragraph 138
116 A. Smeulers, ―Perpetrators of International Crimes: Towards a Typology‖ in A. Smeulers and R. Haveman

(eds.), Supranational Criminology: Towards a Criminology of International Crimes, Antwerpen, Intersentia,

2008, 233-235
117 W. Fenrick, ―Article 28:, in: O. Triffterer (ed.), Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International

Criminal Court, (Nomos Verlad, 1999) as cited in the Decision Pursuant to Article 61(7)(A) and (b) of the

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

44.2. There are formal rules and formal structure, whereupon President
Duterte as superior has actual and effective control. 118 Verily, in the ―war on
drugs‖ the superior-subordinate relationship between President Duterte and the
police personnel who commit the crimes is direct or immediate. 119 His control
over the police is both de jure and de facto.

45. Lastly, it must be shown that the superior failed to take necessary and
reasonable measures to prevent the crime or to punish the perpetrator.

45.1. Despite his full knowledge of the criminal acts, President Duterte
has encouraged and justified excesses and abuses by guaranteeing absolution to
erring policemen.120

45.2. Proof of the government‘s failure to prevent the crimes is the

escalation of the killings. President Duterte, police leaders, and other top officials
of the administration have variously lauded, and bragged about, the killings as
―accomplishments‖ of his term. 121 No necessary or reasonable measures have
been put in place to prevent the killings and atrocities.

45.3. In fact, he has emboldened and openly goaded policemen to set up

the cases for self-defense, to give suspects a gun if unarmed. ―Pag walang baril,

Rome Statute on the Charges of the Prosecutor Against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Case No. ICC-01/05-
01/08, dated June 15, 2009 by the Pre-Trial Chamber II
118 See footnote 116.
119 In establishing whether a superior-subordinate relationship exists, international case law has found the

following questions useful: Does the superior have ―effective control‖ over the subordinate? What are the
powers of influence of the alleged superior? What capacity does the superior have to issue orders? Does
analysis of the distribution of tasks within any relationship demonstrate a superior-subordinate
relationship?. Prosecutor v. Delalic et al. (Celebici Case), Case No. IT-96-21-T, ICTY TC, November 16, 1998,
paragraphs 377-378.
120 Transcript of the speech of President Duterte on March 7, 2018 is available at: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-

el_Housing_Project.pdf. Last accessed on August 26, 2018. See Annex ―A‖, compendium of Speeches of
the President..
If it is in the performance of your duty, ako ang bahala. „Wag kayong matakot, akin lahat „yan. I
take full responsibility. „Wag kayong matakot diyan sa Human Rights. „Pag may magpunta na Human
Rights dito, „wag ninyong pansinin. „Wag ninyong pakainin. Basta hayaan mo „yan sila mag-ikot diyan sa
kampo pagkatapos sabihin mo, ―umuwi ka na. Istorbo ka dito, sabi ni Mayor.‖
And our orders are… Siya man „yung abogado namin, siya „yung Commander-in-Chief, sabi niya,
―hindi kami sasagot sa inyo.‖
Hayaan mo na ako na ang sasagot. Sabihin mo, ―you ask the commander. Doon kami kumukuha
ng ano.‖ Sabi, ―what is the order?‖ ―Wala ka nang pakialam diyan.‖ ―Ba‘t ano pala ang utos niya?‖ ―Ang
utos ng p***** i** mo, umalis ka dito‘t babarilin kita.
Ganun nalang kasi itong mga u*** na ito, they‘re trying to bring us down. But pero ako lang
„yan. [inaudible] ko „yan.
121 Supra, note XX (Accomplishment Report 2017). The 2016 Duterte Year-End Accomplishment Report is

available, in summary, in a news report. Ranada, Pia. LIST: Duterte admin's 2016 accomplishments,
Rappler.com, available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/157160-list-duterte-administration-
accomplishments-2016. Last accessed August 20, 2018.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

bigyan mo ng baril,‖ (if the suspect has no gun, give him one), he has said most

45.4. Remorselessly and incorrigibly, President Duterte‘s statements are

a command to kill. He dangled the reward of Php 5 million for every dead ―ninja
cop‖ (rogue cop), but only Php 10,000 for every one alive.123 A day after he put up
bounties, two were found dead on the roadsides in Zamboanga City in

45.5. The record obviously and painfully shows that President Duterte
has failed to punish erring policemen according to law, either by ordering credible
internal and external investigations, filing charges in the approrpriate
administrative and judicial bodies, and seriously prosecuting or even disciplining
them, as the case may be. The latest government data shows that out of 3,275
government personnel facing administrative cases for anti-illegal drugs
operations, only 59 have been penalized and 778 have been exonerated. Three
out of four cases have been dismissed.125

45.6. It must also be noted that the obligation to ―prevent‖ and ―punish‖
is not alternative. If a superior is aware of the impending or on-going commission
of a crime, necessary and reasonable measures must be taken to stop or prevent
it. A superior with such knowledge and the material ability to prevent the
commission of the crime does not discharge his responsibility by opting simply to
punish his subordinates in the aftermath.126

45.7. The duty to prevent arises for a superior from the moment he
acquires knowledge or has reasonable grounds to suspect that a crime is being or
is about to be committed, while the duty to punish arises after the commission of
the crime.127 President Duterte has miserably failed both to prevent and to punish
the acts.

122 TRANSCRIPT: 'Pag walang baril, bigyan mo ng baril' – Duterte. Rappler.com, August 19, 2017, available
at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/179242-transcript-duterte-police-give-guns-drug-suspects. Video
available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6h87O5LtI. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
123 Pia Ranada. Duterte dangles P5M for dead 'ninja cops,' only P10k if caught alive, Rappler.com, August

17, 2018, available at: https://www.rappler.com/nation/209808-duterte-to-give-reward-money-capture-

living-or-dead-ninja-cops. Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
124 Julie Alipala, Frinston Lim and Erwin Mascariñas, 2 Zambo cops in drugs killed after Duterte offered P5-

M bounty, Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 20, 2018, available at:

Last accessed on August 26, 2018.
125 See Annex ―B‖, Real Numbers report card as of July 31, 2018.
126 ICTR, Semanza, TC, Judgement and Sentence, Case No. ICTR-97-20-T, May 15, 2003, para. 407;

confirmed in ICTR, Bagilishema, TC I, Judgement, Case No. ICTR-95-1A-T, June 7, 2001, para. 49.
127 The distinction between the two duties was affirmed by the ICTY Trial Chamber in Hadžihasanović and

Kubura: ―Tribunal case law has clearly established that Article 7(3) of the Statute distinguishes between
two different duties of a superior. The Trial Chamber in Strugar recently reaffirmed this distinction
unambiguously by holding that Article 7(3) does not provide a superior with two alternative options but
contains two distinct legal obligations: (1) to prevent the commission of the crime and (2) to punish the

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines


46. A clear indication of what constitutes a crime against humanity is given by

the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in its decision on the Erdemovic

―Crimes against humanity are serious acts of violence which harm human
beings by striking what is most essential to them: their life, liberty, physical
welfare, health and/or dignity. They are inhumane acts that by their extent
and gravity go beyond the limits tolerable to the international community,
which must perforce demand their punishment. But crimes against
humanity also transcend the individual because when the individual is
assaulted, humanity comes under attack and is negated. It is therefore the
concept of humanity as victim which essentially characterises crimes
against humanity‖.

47. The extra-judicial killings, mass arrests, roving searches, and other
inhumane acts in the Philippines under the auspices, order, command and policy of
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte threaten the core principles of humanity itself, subsuming
individual victim experiences, and even state borders. It is a critical issue for a much
broader concept, closely linked to the Martens Clause: that of mankind, and the dictates
of public conscience.129

48. Complainants thus pray that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), after
consideration of the facts and submissions to indict President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the
Philippines for crimes against humanity, as in accordance with the processes:

a) That after preliminary examination, the OTP issue a report finding the
charges to fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court;
b) After due consideration, the OTP find reasonable basis to proceed with
an investigation;
c) That the OTP elevate its investigation into a situation, and thereat find
President Duterte directly and personally responsible for crimes against
humanity committed against the civilian populace of the Philippines;
d) During its investigation receive, discover, and examine evidence of
crimes against humanity in the Philippines;
e) That the OTP consider complainants as victims-witnesses in these
charges; and
f) That upon the lodging of a formal complaint the Honorable Prosecutor
request for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Philippine
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

49. It is also most respectfully prayed that the victims and complainants be
awarded individual reparation for the death of their loved ones, and for moral harm,
physical and psychological injuries that they suffered.

128ICTY, Erdemovic, TC, Sentencing and Judgment, Case No. IT-96-22, November 29, 1996, paras. 27-28.
129The Martens Clause, as codified by the Hague Convention No. IV of 1907, refers to ―the principles of
the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilised peoples, from the laws of
humanity, and the dictates of public conscience‖, and confirmed by Article 1 of 1977 Additional Protocol I.

Communication and Complaint by Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Situation in the Philippines

Assisted by:


Counsel for Complainants
3rd Floor, Erythrina Building
1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
Central District, Quezon City,
1109 Philippines
Telephone number: +63 (2) 9206660
Email address: nupl2007@gmail.com