PBBM: PH won’t hand over FPRRD to ICC; ties with Dutertes complicated

By Darryl John Esguerra

April 15, 2024, 9:31 pm

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with Vice President Sara Duterte. <em>(File Photo)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. with Vice President Sara Duterte. (File Photo)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippines will not give up former president Rodrigo Duterte to the International Criminal Court (ICC) should it issue an arrest warrant against his predecessor over the supposed human rights violations in the previous administration's drug war.

In a media forum, Marcos reiterated that the government does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC over the country.

“We don't recognize the warrant that they will send to us,” Marcos said.

On claims that the Philippines is only following international laws when it is “convenient,” the President asserted that the country is merely adhering to the ICC’s own rules and that it may only step in the affairs of a nation in the absence of a functioning judicial system.

“It is their rule. It is the rule of ICC that they come in when there is no judiciary, they come in when there is (no) police force. We have a judiciary. The former Chief Justice [referring to Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin] is sitting right here, he will explain to you how healthy and robust and how active the judiciary is. The police force, I think, is the same thing,” Marcos said.

“So, that is the reason. We are well within international law when we take the position of not recognizing the jurisdiction of ICC in the Philippines,” he added.

The Philippines officially cut ties with the ICC on March 17, 2019.

Complicated relationship

In the same media forum, the President was asked about the status of his relationship with the Dutertes, to which he responded: “It’s complicated."

This comes amid the vocal disdain of some members of the influential Duterte clan, particularly its patriarch the former president and also Davao City Mayor Baste Duterte, over certain policies of the Marcos administration.

However, Marcos said his relationship with Vice President Sara Duterte has not changed since the elections.

Marcos and Sara ran and won as a tandem in the 2022 elections.

“[The person] I have the most contact with is Inday Sara and how we were with each other during the campaign, after the election, it hasn’t really changed,” Marcos said, adding that Sara chooses to just focus on her job amid all the controversies.

“She says, ‘I’ll just work. Don’t worry about it. I’ll just work and work and work and work.’ That’s her attitude,” he said. (PNA)