Pacquiao won’t block ICC probe vs Duterte if elected president
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Friday said he will not stop the International Criminal Court (ICC) from investigating the crimes against humanity cases filed against President Rodrigo Duterte over the controversial war against illegal drugs, if he is elected president in 2022.
Pacquiao said the government should “respect” the process of the ICC.
“Nire-respeto natin yung investigation ng ICC dahil myembro tayo dyan. Unang-una, hindi tayo tututol dyan dahil karapatan nila bilang myembro tayo ng international community dapat din nating igalang ang kanilang mga proseso,” Pacquiao said.
Asked if this means he will put Duterte behind bars if he is elected as president, Pacquiao replied: “Pagdating sa mga ganyan, dahil sa nire-respeto natin ‘yung imbestigation ng ICC, rerespetuhin din natin ‘yan.”
Earlier, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the ICC authorized the start of the probe into the crimes against humanity cases filed against Duterte in connection with the drug war killings.
The request for authorization to investigate the case against Duterte was filed last June 14 by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda before the latter stepped down from her post.
Duterte maintains that he would not participate in any probe launched by the ICC, insisting the international body no longer had jurisdiction over the Philippines.
In 2018, Duterte declared that the Philippines would pull out from the Rome Statute. The withdrawal took effect on March 17, 2019.
The ICC pre-trial chamber, however, insists the Court has “jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes that occurred on the territory of the Philippines while it was a State Party, from 1 November 2011 up to and including 16 March 2019.”
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