Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday said the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot enter the Philippines to investigate the controversial war on drugs and impose a different rule of law.
This came after the ICC Appeals Chamber rejected the Philippine government's bid for the suspension of the ICC prosecutor's investigation into the drug war killings.
“Right now, we’re telling them we can do it. Give us your complaint we will do it,” Remulla said in an interview on ANC.
“But if they insist on doing it, well, good luck to them, because they cannot enter our country to impose a rule of law different from ours. And our rule of law here is run by Filipinos,” he added.
According to Remulla, the appeal was a “part of diplomacy.”
“We have to exhaust all diplomatic means to get the message across... [We] had a discussion about it before he (Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra) proceeded to file the final pleading,” he said.
The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019.
In January, the ICC authorized the reopening of an inquiry into the drug war of former President Rodrigo Duterte, a move that was not welcomed by Philippine authorities and described by Remulla as an “irritant.”
Remulla also denounced the ICC’s decision to reopen the inquiry before the United Nations Human Rights Council, saying that an unjustified external interference rarely serves human rights.
Meanwhile, the Justice Secretary also wished the ICC luck in arresting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Hague-based ICC had issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's presidential commissioner for children's rights, on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.
“The ICC is the ICC and good luck to them also if they want to arrest Putin. I want to see them do that because they are big on words, but let them do it first so we will believe that they can really do what they say,” Remulla said. —VAL, GMA Integrated News