Gov’t won’t cooperate if ICC starts probe despite PH’s pullout — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will not cooperate should the International Criminal Court (ICC) launch an investigation against President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the remark just days before the country’s membership withdrawal from ICC takes effect.
“They do not have jurisdiction, they cannot do anything against us,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, noted that ICC will violate its own provision if it launches an investigation on the Duterte administration’s alleged commission of crimes against humanity via the implementation of its bloody drug war.
“When there is one [investigation] prior to the effectivity of the withdrawal, they can still proceed with the investigation,” Panelo said.
“But in this particular case, we said that assuming that we have not withdrawn, assuming that they have jurisdiction (over us), they cannot proceed because that is in violation of the Rome Statue because…what they did was a preliminary examination, not preliminary investigation,” he added.
ICC has launched a “preliminary examination” of the accusations against Duterte on crimes against humanity in February 2018, following a review of a number of communications and reports documenting the alleged crimes.
A month later, Duterte announced the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which created ICC. The country’s pullout will take effect on March 17.
The government has been claiming that ICC never acquired jurisdiction over the Philippines as the country’s ratification of the treaty was not published in the Official Gazette, the official publication of the government.
However, in a speech on Monday night, Duterte said he would be “very glad to go” if ICC decides to “hang” him.
“For the things I have said, ordered and done, I am willing to put my neck dito sa mga bagay na ito. Baka balang araw itong mga ICC na ito, itong mga bugok na ito, if they decide to hang me I would be very glad to go,” Duterte said during the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Isabela province. /kga
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