PNP, PDEA: We'll give drug war data to ICC if Palace agrees

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Lead agencies implementing the drug war said they will only cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) with the Palace's go signal.

When asked Tuesday if they will comply in case the ICC requests for data on the drug war, officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agreed on one answer.

"On the part of the PNP we will. We will, provided there will be an approval from the higher office, in this case, the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) or Malacañang," PNP Spokesperson John Bulalacao said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

PDEA Spokesperson Derrick Arnold Carreon said his agency will do the same.

On March 19, however, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the ICC "should drop the case" as the government would not offer any help in the international tribunal's review of the country's bloody drug war.

President Rodrigo Duterte pulled the country out of the ICC a month after it announced a preliminary examination on alleged extrajudicial killings in the country. A preliminary examination will determine whether there is cause to go on a full-blown investigation.

READ: Duterte to critics: I challenge you to debate my decision on ICC withdrawal  

The ICC said it will push through with its review despite the Philippines' withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines earlier told CNN Philippines the ICC can tap other sources of information, such as nongovernment organizations and other United Nations bodies, in looking into the drug war.

In the same press briefing, the PDEA said 4,075 were killed in anti-drug operations since the start of the anti-drug campaign in July 2016.

Duterte in October 2017 tasked the PDEA to take over the country's anti-drug campaign amid alleged police abuses. He later allowed the police to conduct drug operations, but the PDEA remains the lead agency.

Local and international human rights groups said Duterte in his public pronouncements ordered or encouraged policemen to kill those involved in the drug trade. They said this resulted in more than 13,000 extrajudicial killings in the drug war.

Malacañang has said there are no state-sponsored killings and it is committed to investigate officers who violate and abuse their power.

READ: Bato: ICC probe on drug war to prove critics wrong