The Marcos administration is not closing its doors on discussions regarding Philippines' membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Wednesday.
However, Remulla said the final decision remained with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“We are a democracy. We have three branches of government. The legislature can always speak with the executive on this matter and the person who will make the decision for us is President Marcos himself,” Remulla said in a press conference.
Asked about reports that some senators would try to ask the president to reconsider, the Justice chief said, “We’re not closing the door to anything, especially dialogue with the Senate."
"We have to work together to bring the country forward in the next two years at least for the six years that the people have elected the president," Remulla said.
Marcos on Monday said that the country had “no intention” of rejoining the ICC.
For Remulla, becoming a member was “a choice.”
“Ang America hindi member ng ICC, ang China hindi member ng ICC, ang Russia hindi member ng ICC. Marami namang hindi member ng ICC. Are they pariahs? Are we saying that their systems don’t work?” he said.
(America is not a member of the ICC, China is not a member of the ICC, and Russia is not a member of the ICC. There are many countries that are not members of the ICC. Are they pariahs? Are we saying that their systems don't work?)
“So it’s just a choice that we have whether to join or not to join. I think that we are fully within our rights not to join, di ba? Hindi naman natin kailangan sumunod sa uso,” he added.
Further, the Secretary said the country is willing to provide information to the ICC, upon its request.
He also reiterated that the country’s justice system “is functioning.”—LDF, GMA News