Koko Pimentel says PH sovereignty ‘not an issue’ for ICC probe
MANILA, Philippines — The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into the extrajudicial killings (EJK) during the previous administration is “not an issue to” Philippine sovereignty, said Senate Minority leader Aquilono “Koko” Pimentel on Thursday.
Pimentel’s view was in stark contrast to those of other officials, such as Department of Justice chief Jesus Crispin Remulla, who called upon the ICC to respect the country’s independence, noting that the Philippines already has its own judiciary.
READ: Remulla: PH justice system working, ICC revival of ‘drug war’ probe an ‘irritant’
“This is not an issue of sovereignty because actually, we should decide to cooperate. It’s already the exercise of our sovereignty that we want to cooperate,” said Pimentel.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Pimentel said the Philippines must choose to be a dependable partner in the global community. Additionally, the country has chosen to ratify the Rome statute, making it an official part of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
While former president Rodrigo Duterte withdrew the country from the ICC during his term, Pimentel said that the Philippines is still “expected to cooperate with [respect] to investigations covering the time period when [the country was] still a member.”
Pimentel was also asked whether he thought the EJKs were excessive since he was already a senator during the operation’s height.
“There have been unexplained killings, unnecessary killings, so these should have been investigated by our own law enforcement agencies and investigative agencies, so I think that the families of the victims have been crying for justice or for an official finding of what happened,” he said.
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