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Roque: ICC members can visit PHL as tourists

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Members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are welcome to visit the Philippines provided that they will not investigate the deaths being linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, Malacañang said on Thursday.

"They can come as tourists of course pero huwag kayo mag-iinvestigate. There is no ban," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told ANC.

The Palace official's remark came after Duterte last week threatened to have the ICC investigators arrested should they come to the Philippines and conduct an inquiry into the killings.

Duterte said that the ICC had no jurisdiction on the communication filed by lawyer Jude Sabio in April last year, arguing that the Rome Statute—the treaty that established the court—is not enforceable in the Philippines because it was not published in a government publication or any commercial newspaper.

Malacañang also said the move to conduct a preliminary examination violated the basis of the country's consent to be part of the ICC.

Roque cited the principle of complementarity in which the ICC can only investigate allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes if the domestic courts are unable or unwilling to do so.

"Are you going to say we don't have functioning courts? Lahat ng Filipinos, mainsulto naman kayo," he said.

The Philippines filed a written notification of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty, last month on Duterte’s orders.

The international tribunal had announced that it would being a preliminary examination of the allegations of crimes against humanity made against the president. — BM, GMA News

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