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Palace insists non-cooperation with possible ICC probe on drug war killings despite SC ruling

Malacañang said Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) won’t be able to compel the Philippines to cooperate with its probe on alleged drug war killings.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the response in light of the Supreme Court decision that the Philippines has the obligation to cooperate with the ICC despite its withdrawal from the Rome Statute in 2019.

“[The] lack of enforcement mechanism cannot compel the Philippine government to cooperate,” Roque said.

The Supreme Court made the ruling in its decision junking the petitions challenging the withdrawal of the Philippines from Rome Statute which established the ICC, citing that the Rome Statute’s provision stating that such exit does not affect criminal proceedings pertaining to acts that occurred when a country was still a state party.

Roque, however, maintained that the Supreme Court ruling dismissing petitions questioning legality of the Philippines’ withdrawal as state party without Senate concurrence by stating such are moot and academic clearly presumes regularity.

“The main issue here is that the Senate concurrence is not needed [in withdrawing from the ICC],” he said.

“No change [in our policy]. They won’t rule that the petition is moot and academic if there is a violation of law,” he added.

Former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, before her retirement, asked the ICC to probe the Duterte administration’s drug war since there is “reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity has been committed in the context of the drug war.”

Bensouda, in a 52-page report, cited police, human rights groups, media reports and confidential sources in concluding that the drug war kilings which numbered over 20,000 had a pattern of killing suspects who are not resisting arrest, with some even begging for their lives to be spared.—AOL, GMA News