ICC jurisdiction over PH still questionable – Marcos

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

November 24, 2023, 12:40 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The supposed jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Philippines remains "problematic," President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Friday.

Marcos was commenting on the resolution at the House of Representatives urging his administration to work with the ICC in its investigation into the war on drugs of his predecessor, former president Rodrigo R. Duterte.

In an interview on the sidelines of an event in Taguig City, the President said it is “not unusual” for House lawmakers to express their belief that it is time to allow the ICC to conduct an investigation and for the administration to cooperate with the international court.

“But as I have always said, there are still problems in terms of jurisdiction and sovereignty. Now, if we can solve these problems, then that would be something else but medyo fundamental ‘yung mga question na ganun (such questions are somehow fundamental),” he said.

“Because if you are talking about the jurisdiction of the ICC, especially since that we have withdrawn from the Rome Statute few years back, that brings into question whether or not this is actually possible.”

Marcos said the question as to whether the Philippines should “return under the fold of the ICC” is “again under study.”

“So, we’ll just keep looking at it and see what our options are,” he said.

Marcos, however, reiterated his stance that the Philippines could solve its domestic affairs, including issues raised over Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign.

He said it is “not right” for any “outsider” to meddle in the Philippines’ affairs.

“Para sa akin simple lang naman iyang issue na iyan eh. Hindi naman siguro tama na ang tiga-labas, ang mga dayuhan ang magsasabi sa atin kung sino iimbestigahan ng pulis natin, sino ang aarestuhin ng pulis natin, sino ang ikukulong ng pulis natin (For me, that's a simple issue. It is not right for outsiders, foreigners to tell us who our police should investigate, arrest, or imprison),” Marcos said.

“Hindi naman siguro tama ‘yun. Dapat Pilipino lang ang gumagawa niyan. May pulis naman tayo, may NBI tayo, may DOJ tayo, kaya nila ang trabahong yan, (That is not right. Only Filipinos should do that. We have the police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, they can do that job), and that's really where the conflict is.”

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.

In July, Marcos said the Philippine government would no longer get in touch with the ICC after rejecting its plea to suspend its investigation into Duterte’s drug war.

In March 2018, Duterte ordered the Philippines’ termination of the Rome Statute that created the ICC after former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda continued with the preliminary examination.

The Philippines formally cut ties with the ICC on March 17, 2019, exactly a year after the revocation of the Rome Statute. (PNA)