Remulla says call for gov’t to cooperate in ICC probe needs serious study
MANILA, Philippines — On whether the Philippines will cooperate with the drug war probe of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that this “needs a serious study.”
Remulla was reacting to the resolution filed by Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. urging the different departments in the executive branch to cooperate with the ICC.
“[This] needs a serious study on our part at the DOJ (Department of Justice), considering we are no longer a member,” Remulla said in a message to reporters.
For the DOJ, there is no need to allow ICC to enter the country.
“Bakit mo ipauubaya sa ibang tao ang maghusga sa sarili mong bayan,” Remulla said during a press conference on Oct. 25, 2023.
(We need to be cautious. If your country has a functioning justice system, why would you entrust the judgment of your own nation to others?)
The country is no longer a State party from the ICCs Rome Statute. On March 16, 2018, the Philippines submitted its notice of withdrawal from the Rome Statute after the ICC prosecutor opened a preliminary examination into Duterte’s crimes against humanity.
The withdrawal became official on March 17, 2019.
Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said despite the withdrawal, the Supreme Court itself said the Philippines still has the obligation to cooperate with ICC because the alleged violations committed were at the time when the country was still a member.
“Let me just point out the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) on this, sabi ng Supreme Court, while the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute and ICC took effect at a certain date, the Philippines has the obligation to comply, to cooperate with the ICC for acts committed before we withdrew,” Carpio said.
But for Remulla, a portion of the Supreme Court’s ruling is an obiter or an opinion.
The DOJ chief said he would wait how the proceedings in Congress would turn out. Prior to Abante’s resolution, the Makabayan bloc already called on the Marcos administration to cooperate with the ICC probe.