Duterte’s refusal to cooperate with ICC despite SC ruling shows ‘continuous disregard of law’ – lawyers’ group
MANILA, Philippines — A group of lawyers on Sunday slammed the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday for refusing to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its investigation of the killings connected with the drug war.
“The refusal of the Duterte government to cooperate with the ICC despite the Supreme Court’s pronouncements show nothing but its continuous disregard of the law,” the Manananggol Laban sa Extra-Judicial Killings (Manlaban sa EJK) said in a statement.
According to the Supreme Court, the Philippines is still bound to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC and cooperate with its processes even after its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the court.
“It also shows the Duterte government’s refusal to be held accountable for its actions by engaging in mental calisthenics such as relying on its withdrawal from the ICC, which the Honorable Court has already stated is not a sufficient argument to not comply with the country’s obligations from when it was still a member,” Manlaban said.
The group said it would still continue to call for justice for the victims of the “ruthless, unjust, and anti-poor” drug war.
“On the eve of Duterte’s final state of the nation address, we issue this call for accountability and justice in solidarity with the victims of this government,” it said.
“For one more time, we call on this Administration to stop the killings and violence not just in the war against drugs but also against political dissenters and human rights, environmental, and indigenous peoples’ rights defenders,” it added.
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