President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has discussed with members of his administration's legal team the International Criminal Court's investigation of the war on drugs in the Philippines during the Duterte administration.
According to Saleema Refran's report on "24 Oras", Justice Secretary Boying Remulla and Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said it was up to the Palace to disclose the administration's next step as regards the ICC probe.
Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez, and former Duterte spokesman Harry Roque.
The meeting happened more than a week after the ICC based in The Hague "invited" the Philippines to provide observations on the ICC prosecutor's request to reopen the investigation into the killings attributed to the war on drugs.In an order dated July 14, the ICC gave the Philippines until September 8, 2022 to provide any observations on the planned reopening of the probe.
The ICC then instructed its prosecutor—represented by Karim A. A. Khan and Colin Black—to submit any response to the observations of the Philippines by September 22, 2022.
It also instructed the Victims Participation and Reparations Section (VPRS) to coordinate with victims and their legal representatives, and collect their views by September 8, 2022.
While he deferred to Malacañang to make the formal announcement, Remulla said that based on his opinion, the ICC no longer has jurisdiction over the country as the Philippines already exited the treaty.
It can be recalled that the Philippines, under President Rodrigo Duterte, withdrew from the Rome Statute that created the ICC in 2018.
“It's my opinion that they have no jurisdiction over our country when it comes to these things that they want to investigate because we are any longer members of the ICC," Remulla said.
"If we are part of the treaty, then we accede to the treaty but we're not anymore part of it. We've withdrawn from it,” he added.
Guevarra said he would leave it to Marcos to disclose the decision.
“The only agenda was the government’s position on the ICC investigation, but I’d rather leave it to the President to make any disclosure at this time,” Guevarra said.
“The state, as distinguished from the government or its officials, whether past or present, has a fundamental interest in the ICC case," he added. -Sundy Locus/NB, GMA News