President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippines would not restore the country’s membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“The Philippines has no intention of rejoining the ICC… Ang meeting namin ay dahil sinasabi ngayon na itutuloy ang imbestigasyon. Eh sinasabi naman naming may imbestigasyon naman dito,” said Marcos in an interview.
Marcos said an investigation is already ongoing on the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign, and his administration is closely studying the procedures and ways on how to address the matter.
“Patuloy din naman ang imbestigasyon, bakit magkakaroon ng ganu’n? So anyway, para alam natin ang gagawin natin, if we will respond, if we will not respond, kung ano — kung sakali man sasagot tayo, ano magiging sagot natin or possible din, basta hindi natin papansinin dahil hindi naman tayo sumasailalim sa kanila,” said Marcos.
Marcos said his legal team is closely examining the case because the ICC is a “very different of a court.”
“Pero the ICC is a very different of a court kaya’t pinag-aralan muna. Sinabi ko, pag-aralin niyo nang mabuti ‘yung procedure para tama ‘yung gagawin natin. Kasi hindi natin siyempre kailangan — baka ma-misinterpret ‘yung ating mga ginagawa kaya liwanagin natin kung ano ba talaga ang dapat gawin, sinong susulat kanino, anong ilalagay sa sulat, et cetera, et cetera,” said Marcos.
The chief executive has convened his legal team to begin discussing his administration’s strategy in dealing with the ICC, which has an ongoing investigation into crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the Duterte administration.
The chief executive met with Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, and former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on July 27.
The meeting took place more than a week after the ICC invited the country to offer observations on the ICC prosecutor’s request to reopen the probe into the killings attributed to the anti-narcotics campaign.
In an order dated July 14, the ICC said the country has until September 8, 2022, to provide any observations on the planned reopening of the investigation.
In March 2018, former President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute just weeks after former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced a preliminary examination was underway into the administration’s illegal drugs crackdown.
The Philippines officially cut ties with the international court on March 17, 2019, exactly a year after the Rome Statute’s revocation. | PND