PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday that the Philippines is done dealing with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is investigating his predecessor’s controversial drug war.
“Basta tapos na lahat ng ating pag-uusap sa ICC. Kagaya ng sinasabi namin mula sa simula (Everything is over and done with as far as the ICC is concerned. Like what we said at the start), we will not cooperate with them in any way, shape, or form,” Marcos said in an interview in Zamboanga Sibugay.
He said he made the decision to protect the country’s sovereignty.
On Tuesday, the ICC rejected the Philippine government’s appeal to pause the investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed during the crackdown on drug traffickers by former president Rodrigo Duterte.
The next step for the court is to start issuing warrants of arrest in the Philippines.
Marcos reiterated that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines since it has cut ties with the international tribunal.
“That’s it. We have no appeals pending. We have no more actions being taken. So, I suppose that puts an end to our dealings with the ICC,” Marcos said.
“So, we continue to defend the sovereignty of the Philippines and continue to question the jurisdiction of the ICC in their investigations here in the Philippines,” he added.
The President stressed that the investigation should be conducted by Filipinos.
The ICC prosecutors “are talking about Filipinos. Their alleged crimes are here in the Philippines. The victims are Filipinos; bakit mapupunta sa (why should it reach) The Hague? Kaya dito dapat (It should be here),” he said.
Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra has said the engagement of the Philippines with the ICC ended with the rendition of judgment by the ICC Appeals Chambers.
Guevarra said the country would focus on its own investigation and prosecution of crimes related to the anti-drug campaign.
In November 2019, during the Duterte administration, the ICC moved to suspend its inquiry into the country’s drug war after the Duterte government said it would do its own investigation into the deaths associated with its anti-drug campaign.
The pre-trial chamber of the ICC resumed its probe last January, saying the government’s own investigation was not reaping results.
In March, Philippine authorities challenged the ICC’s jurisdiction. The ICC rejected the argument, asserting that Article 127 of the Rome Statute makes it clear that “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.”
Duterte pulled the Philippines out of the ICC in 2019, a year after The Hague-based tribunal began a preliminary probe into the crackdown.
A little over 6,000 people were killed in more than 200,000 anti-drug operations, according to the latest data released by the Philippine government.
The ICC prosecutors claim the death toll was much higher, estimating it to be between 12,000 and 30,000.
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