DAVS-Prosecutor Bensouda seeks ‘some understanding’ of public anger in Philippines as justice mission suspended

(News.com.au) – Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Thursday that “public anger and frustration” was compounding her work of investigating events in the Philippines and called for patience, reports Reuters.

“I, more than anyone, must understand and empathise with those sentiments, and I ask that they be given some understanding and patience,” she said in a letter seen by Reuters.

The prosecutor has been investigating Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs which has been condemned by the United Nations, US, European Union and human rights groups, but Duterte has been unapologetic about his crackdown.

On Thursday, Bensouda said she would suspend in the coming months her efforts to review Duterte’s campaign, saying that it had not found widespread rights violations.

Bensouda said she was pushing for broader investigations, including into other aspects of Duterte’s time as mayor of Davao City, his drug war and martial law in the southern region of Mindanao which has fuelled concern about human rights abuses.

The verdict in the Davao case will be released on Thursday. Duterte, who is expected to be reappointed president by the August election, has denied ordering any killings and said the conflict against drugs was not a war on drugs.

The president has suggested Bensouda should consider joining his cabinet but the prosecutor has indicated this is not an option for her.

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