The International Criminal Court (ICC) will resume its investigation into former president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, which led to the death of thousands of Filipinos.

The probe was suspended in November 2021 upon the request of the Philippine government.

In a statement on Thursday, the ICC said it was “not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the Court’s investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle.”

“After having examined the submissions and materials of the Philippines Government, and of the ICC Prosecutor, as well as the victims’ observations, the Chamber concluded that the various domestic initiatives and proceedings, assessed collectively, do not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps in a way that would sufficiently mirror the Court’s investigation,” the ICC said.

“This conclusion does not preclude the Philippines from providing material in the future in order for the Prosecution, or the Chamber, to determine inadmissibility of the investigation or of any actual case, if and when needed,” it added.

The ICC in September 2021 greenlit a probe as there was “reasonable basis” to believe that a crime against humanity had been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of Duterte’s deadly campaign against drugs.

The Philippines pulled out from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019, after it launched a preliminary examination of Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

The Duterte administration had been asserting that the court did not have jurisdiction over the situation in the Philippines.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said in August 2022 that he would keep the country out of the ICC as it already had an ongoing investigation on alleged drug war-related abuses. John Ezekiel J. Hirro