Gov’t decision not to let PH rejoin ICC a sovereignty issue – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision for the Philippines not to rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a matter of sovereignty, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles emphasized that complaints about alleged rights violations and deaths caused by the so-called drug war launched by former President Rodrigo Duterte are being investigated.
“Ang hindi natin pagbabalik sa ICC ay isyu ng soberanya (The decision not to re-join the ICC is an issue of sovereignty),” Cruz-Angeles said in a press briefing.
“Sa kasalukuyan, ini-imbestigahan naman ang mga reklamo ukol dun sa mga namamatay during the drug war kung kaya’t hindi na nangangailangan pang tumugon sa ICC o bumalik ang ating bansa sa Rome Statue,” she added.
(Right now, we are investigating the complaints regarding the deaths during the drug war that’s why we don’t need to respond to the ICC or for the Philippines to go back to the Rome Statute.)
Marcos Jr. on Monday said the Philippines has no intention of rejoining the ICC, which is investigating the alleged crimes against humanity committed during the Duterte administration under its brutal war against illegal drugs.
“Naiintindihan natin na ang mga biktima ay may hinaing ngunit bukas po ang ating mga hukuman at ang proseso ng hustisya para sa kanilang hinaing,” Cruz-Angeles said.
(We understand that the victims have grievances, but our courts and process of justice are open to their complaints.)
When asked if Marcos Jr. ordered the DOJ to expedite drug war investigations, Cruz-Angeles said it was not necessary.
“Bahagi po ng ating proseso ang mabilis na paglilitis lalung-lalo na doon sa mga kriminal na kaso. So hindi na kailangan magbigay ng direktiba ang Pangulo. Bahagi na po ‘yun ng sistema ng hustiya,” Cruz-Angeles said.
(Part of our process is the speedy trial, especially in criminal cases. So the President doesn’t need to give an instruction anymore. It is already part of the justice system.)
“Kapag ang isyu ay naihaharap na sa mahistrado, sila na po ang maghahatol kung ito ay nasa tamang panahon o proseso o kung naangkop pa ang time period dun sa paglilitis ng kaso,” she added.
(Once an issue is already being presented before the judge, they will already be the ones to decide if the time and process are right or if the trial period of a case is appropriate.)
Former President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March 2018, a month after ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that a preliminary examination was underway into the thousands of deaths in the Philippine government’s “war on drugs” campaign.
The Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC took effect a year later.