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Remulla questions why ICC was not probing drug cartels instead

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday questioned why the International Criminal Court (ICC) was investigating the government's drug war and not the drug cartels.

“Kung talagang nais ng ICC na mag imbestiga, bakit hindi nila imbestigahan ‘yung mga drug cartel na sumisira sa ating bansa. Kaya tayo naman ay nagkakaroon ng drug war,” Remulla said in an ambush interview.

(If the ICC really wants to investigate, why don’t they investigate the drug cartels destroying our country. That’s why we had a drug war.)

Remulla said earlier that he hoped the reopening of the inquiry into the Duterte administration’s drug war was not politically motivated.

The ICC recently authorized the reopening of an inquiry into the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs.

Authorities, however, say that the ICC had no jurisdiction in the Philippines after the country withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC in March 2019.

The Philippine government submitted a notice of appeal to the ICC Appeals Chamber, saying it disagreed and rejected the conclusions of the Pre-Trial Chamber when it authorized the reopening.

Meanwhile, Remulla said the country was fighting a “silent drug war” because cartels were still active.

“Bakit hindi ‘yun ang imbestigahan nila. Bakit hindi nila imbestigahan ang mga sindikato na nag tra-traffick ng mag bata at ng mga kababaihan. Napakarami nilang pwedeng imbestigahan sa karapatan ng mga taong bayan,” Remulla said.

(Why don’t they investigate that. Why don’t they investigate syndicates that traffic children and women. They can investigate so many other matters on people's rights.)

“Bakit sila kailangan isaisahin o kaya sinusinuhin ang mga Pilipinong nakukursunodahan nila. Eh, ang ICC para sa mga individual ‘yan eh. Tayo we defend the individuals in our country… pinangangalagaan natin ang estado,” he added.

(Why do they have to go each and every Filipino they are interested in. The ICC is there for individuals. We defend the individuals in our country... we protect the state.)

Remulla also said he met with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra regarding the government's response to the ICC, and the government still planned to appeal against the reopening of the inquiry before the March 13 deadline. — DVM, GMA Integrated News