Marcos won’t cooperate with ICC over sovereignty, jurisdictional issues
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Saturday he would not cooperate with the inquiry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the abuses in the campaign against illegal drugs of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking to reporters in Baguio City, Marcos said his position on the ICC probe has not changed.
“I have stated it often, even before I took office as President, that there are many questions about their jurisdiction and what we in the Philippines regard as an intrusion into our internal matters and a threat to our sovereignty,” he said.
“So no, I do not see what their jurisdiction is. I feel that we have in our police, in our judiciary, a good system. We do not need assistance from any outside entity, the Philippines is a sovereign nation, and we are not colonies anymore of these former imperialists. So that is not something that we consider to be a legitimate judgment,” he added.
Marcos said that “until those questions of jurisdiction and the effects on the sovereignty of the Republic are sufficiently answered, I cannot cooperate with them.”
Duterte pulled the Philippines out of the Hague-based tribunal in 2019 after it began a preliminary probe into the crackdown, followed by the launch of a formal inquiry later that year.
But the probe was suspended in November 2021 after Manila said it was re-examining cases of drug operations that led to deaths at the hands of police, hitmen, and vigilantes.
Officially, more than 6,000 people were killed in Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign, but rights groups say that up to 30,000 may have been killed.
The ICC last month authorized the reopening of an inquiry into the drug war.
On February 16, the ICC prosecutor urged the ICC Appeals Chamber to dismiss the Philippine government's application for the suspension of the reopening of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero questioned why the former president should be under ICC investigation if no charges had been brought against him in the Philippines.
“Ang tanong ko, bakit may nagiimbestiga kay Duterte sa ICC laban sa kanya? Mayroon na bang isang kasong inihain sa Pilipinas laban kay Pangulong Duterte kaugnay sa pagpatay na naganap o nangyari sa ilalim ng kanyang drug war nung siya ay pangulo?” Escudero, a lawyer, said in The Mangahas Interviews.
(My question is: why is the ICC investigating Duterte? Has a case been filed against President Duterte in the Philippines regarding the killings committed in his war on drugs?)
“Dahil yun ang pinakamaliwanag na ebidensya na kung saka-sakali na may tumatakbong sistema ng hustisya sa bansa. Pero kung wala namang nagkaso, mali namang sabihin na yun ang basehan para sabihing hindi tumatakbo ang judicial system natin kung wala naman naghain ng reklamo o nagsampa ng kaso,” he added.
(Because that would be clear evidence, if ever, of whether there is a functioning justice system in our country. If no cases are filed, it would be incorrect to claim that our judicial system is ineffective.)
A group of House members led by former President and Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo filed a resolution on Thursday defending Duterte against any probe by the ICC.
Through House Resolution 780, the lawmakers said Duterte's presidency "has ushered remarkable accomplishments brought about by his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, insurgency, separatism and terrorism, corruption in government and criminality thus making the life of every Filipino better, comfortable and peaceful.”
“Nabasa ko yung resolution ng Kamara at may basehan naman, isa sa mga requirement bago imbestigahan ng ICC ang isang tao sa isang bansa dating pangulo man o sino mang opisyal ay hindi nagfufunction yung ating judicial at investigative system na hindi naman 'yan ang kaso sa Pilipinas,” Escudero said.
(I have read the proposed resolution, and I believe there is a basis for it. One of the requirements in order for the ICC to investigate an individual of a certain country, whether a former president or any official, is that the judicial and investigative systems are not working, which is not the case for the Philippines.) — with Richa Noriega/VBL, GMA Integrated News