House reso urging Marcos admin to cooperate with ICC ‘not a priority’

By Zaldy De Layola

November 24, 2023, 4:07 pm

MANILA – House of Representatives Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said Friday that House Resolution 1477 urging the Marcos administration to collaborate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe against former president Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs is not a priority.

Dalipe said Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has not issued any directive regarding the ICC investigation, “which means that the measure has to go through the normal legislative process.”

"As chair of the Committee on Rules, I know for a fact that there is no instruction from the Office of the Speaker that requires us to give special attention to the House Resolution seeking our cooperation with the ICC. This will be treated like all other House resolutions, but we have to respect the autonomy of the legislative process and the necessity for adherence to established procedures," he said.

Dalipe made the remark after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday reiterated his stance that the Philippines could solve its domestic affairs, including issues raised over Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

In an interview on the sidelines of an event in Taguig City, Marcos said it is “not right” for any “outsider” to meddle in the Philippines’ affairs.

The President, however, said it is “not unusual” for House members to call for his administration to cooperate with the ICC.

"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 told the media.

Dalipe said former president Duterte is held in high esteem by the House leadership but it would not suppress any member of Congress advocating for ICC support in investigating the anti-drug campaign.

"The democratic principles that underpin the legislative process allow for the expression of diverse opinions. The House is composed of 310 independent minds and diverse cultural and political backgrounds, so it is important that we hear the sentiment of everyone," he said.

He said all members of the House are entitled to voice their perspectives within the democratic framework, ensuring a robust and inclusive discussion on matters of national importance.

In the Senate, Senator Risa Hontiveros said she is still hoping that President Marcos “would really command the executive to make way for that process.”

“I hope the executive will also pay heed to these senses of legislators about important issues, human rights, important institutions and processes like the International Criminal Court,” she said in a media iinterview on Friday.

Hontiveros said she is seriously considering filing a similar resolution in the Senate, urging the administration to collaborate with the ICC probe. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)