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Carpio says Duterte might be looking for refuge in China; Roque says nonsense

Former President Rodrigo Duterte may be looking for "a place of refuge" when he talked to Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week, former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has said.

According to Mariz Umali's report on "24 Oras," the International Criminal Court has not named names but the Department of Justice has advised Duterte and Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa to skip countries that have ties to the tribunal.

China is not one of those countries.

The ICC earlier this week junked the Philippines' appeal of its decision in January to allow the investigation of the thousands of deaths blamed on the war on drugs under Duterte's term as President.

Dela Rosa, who was Duterte's first chief of the Philippine National Police, implemented the campaign.

"Because of the looming warrant of arrest to be issued by the ICC, he might be looking for a place of refuge," Carpio said.

"He may not be confident that he will always be protected by the Philippine government," Carpio said.

‘Depends on executive’

The Supreme Court in 2021 in a decision said that the Philippines still had an obligation to cooperate with the ICC even after the country broke away from the Rome Statute.

"Well of course at the end of the day it depends on the executive whether to execute that warrant of arrest," Carpio said.

"But other countries can... if he goes to these countries," he added.

Carpio said China had another motive for inviting Duterte.

"It’s clear that the Chinese are trying to drive a wedge among Filipinos... by getting former President Duterte to say that we should stick with the Chinese so that’s a Chinese play to divide the country," Carpio said.


Duterte's legal counsel Atty. Harry Roque dismissed Carpio's remarks, saying the Philippines had long pulled out of the Rome Statute and that the government has said that it would not cooperate with the ICC.

"Kalokohan po yan dahil ang Pilipinas naman ay hindi na kasapi ng ICC at nagsabi na ang Presidente at ang Justice Secretary na hindi tayo magkocooperate sa ICC so hindi na kinakailangang maghanap ng place of refuge si Presidente Duterte," Roque said.

(That's nonsense because the Philippines is no longer a member of the ICC and the President and the Secretary of Justice have said 

GMA Integrated News is trying to get a comment from the Chinese Embassy as regards Carpio's remarks.

It has previously said that the agenda of the talks was improving ties between the Philippines and China.

The ICC Appeals Chamber on Tuesday denied the appeal of the Philippine government against the resumption of the investigation into the controversial war on drugs.

Appeal rejected

This was announced by  during an open court hearing in The Netherlands.

“Before I address the merits of the appeal, I would like to state that it is rejected by the Appeal Chamber by majority and that the impugned decision is, therefore, confirmed,” Presiding Judge Marc Perrin de Brichambaut said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla had said that the Philippines woud not comply if the ICC issued warrants against individuals allegedly involved in the killings related to the war on drugs.

A day after the ICC decision, Remulla advised Duterte and Dela Rosa to skip traveling to countries that could be influenced by the tribunal if warrants of arrest were issued.

Remulla said Duterte and Dela Rosa, the chief of the Philippine National Police under the Duterte administration, are citizens “who also need our protection.”

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra after a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Thursday said the Philippines would end its coordination with the ICC after its decision to deny the country's appeal.

On Friday, Marcos said the Philippines was done communicating with the ICC in connection with its investigation into the country's drug war. —NB, GMA Integrated News