MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Thursday denied speculations that the House of Representatives is prioritizing a resolution urging the Marcos administration to work with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into the war on drugs of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
In a press conference during the 31st Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in Pasay City, Romualdez said tackling the resolution is just a "matter of course" in the legislative process.
“This is the sense of the House of Representatives. There was a succession of resolutions that are being filed," Romualdez said. “As a matter of course, we have to read out these bills and resolutions and we have to act on the same and we have to be sensitive, to be responsive dito nga sa mga hinaing ng ating mga kongresista (to the concerns of lawmakers).”
He said whatever decision would be made regarding the resolution would convey the sentiments of the House of Representatives.
Romualdez also denied allegations made by former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque that he was behind the resolution asking the Philippine government to cooperate with the ICC investigation, saying "none of that is true".
“We respect his thoughts and opinion but they’re not accurate. So, I'll just put it at that and there is nothing to it,” Romualdez said.
House Resolution 1477 urges the Marcos administration to work with the ICC in the investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed during Duterte's tenure.
The resolution was authored by House Human Rights Panel chairperson Bienvenido Abante Jr. and 1-Rider Party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez.
A similar resolution was earlier filed by the Makabayan bloc.
Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte warned on Thursday that the measure being pushed in Congress urging the Philippine government to "cooperate" with the ICC is unconstitutional and an insult to the Philippine justice system.
Duterte urged the Lower House to respect the stand of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in saying that the Philippine government will not cooperate with the ICC in its investigation.
"To allow ICC prosecutors to investigate alleged crimes that are now under the exclusive jurisdiction of our prosecutors and our courts is not only patently unconstitutional but effectively belittles and degrades our legal institutions," Duterte said in her statement.
In July, Marcos declared that the Philippine government would not cooperate with the ICC, saying the country is not a member of the Rome statute anymore.
In the Senate, Senator Robin Padilla urged the public to respect President Marcos’ declaration last July that the Philippines would not cooperate with the ICC investigation as the latter no longer has jurisdiction over the Philippines.
“I wish to put a definite end to it now because it will bring only confusion to our people. At this point, I ask my fellow Filipinos to unite behind the decision of our government, aimed at ensuring a free Philippines” Padilla said. (With reports from Wilnard Bacelonia & Leonel Abasola/PNA)