PBBM: It’s a ‘mistake’ for ICC to meddle in PH judicial affairs

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

March 14, 2024, 7:05 am

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – It is a “mistake” for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to intervene in the Philippines’ judicial process, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has said, as he maintained that the country has a functioning judiciary.

Marcos made the remarks during his bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday in Berlin, Germany, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement on Thursday.

“President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. stood firm before German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the Philippines as it remains to have a working judicial system and law enforcement mechanisms,” Garafil said.

During the meeting, Marcos told Scholz that ICC cannot investigate the Philippines’ drug campaign under the Duterte administration because the country is capable of conducting its own probe.

Marcos said there is no need for the international court to meddle, considering that “there are too many lawyers in the Philippines already.”

“And so, it’s really a question of jurisdiction and we have our own investigations and we’re capable of conducting our own investigations and, so we are, we are continuing to do so,” Marcos was quoted as saying by the PCO.

Marcos said the ICC’s apparent intrusion into the Philippine judicial system is something that his administration has to deal with.

He said it is “unacceptable” for an international court to take control over the Philippines where there is a working judicial system and law enforcement mechanisms.

“Well, there is now a conflict between – in terms of jurisdiction because, in our opinion, the ICC was created when a country has no judiciary, no functioning judiciary, no police force to enforce peace and order; enforce law," Marcos said.

“As a matter of principle, it is very difficult for the Philippines to accept that an outside court will, shall I say, dictate to our policemen, ‘who they will investigate, who they will arrest and who will say, that hey, because we don’t need that advice’,” he added, stressing that the country has a “functioning military and police force that uphold the rule of law.”

In February this year, Marcos said the ICC prosecutors could “produce as much evidence as they want but they could not act upon it in the Philippines.”

The Philippines formally cut ties with the ICC on March 17, 2019, or a year after the country formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the Rome Statute which creates the international court. (PNA)