Bad political move not to cooperate with ICC's probe — lawyer

Bad political move not to cooperate with ICC probe – human rights lawyer

/ 01:11 PM February 26, 2024

PHOTO: The International Criminal Court building STORY: Bad political move not to cooperate with ICC probe – human rights lawyer

The International Criminal Court (ICC PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights lawyer Kristina Conti, an International Criminal Court’s (ICC) assistant to counsel, cautioned President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. that refusing to cooperate with the ICC investigation into his predecessor’s controversial war on drugs would be a bad political move.

According to Conti, Marcos’ continued snubbing of the ICC investigation against former President Rodrigo Duterte and other key figures in the drug war would be unwise on domestic and international political fronts.


READ: Lawyers say gov’t obliged to enforce ICC warrant on Duterte


“Now, the surveys indicate that the majority of the people support the ICC’s investigation and rejoining it. Marcos needs to listen to the pulse of the people,” Conti told in an interview.

The lawyer was referring to the December 2023 Social Weather Stations survey, which showed that 53 percent of Filipinos agree that the ICC should investigate the alleged killings and human rights violations under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

It also showed that 56 percent of Filipinos agree that the Philippine government must allow the ICC to investigate the allegations.

Conti, who is also a lawyer for the families of drug war victims, further said that Filipinos favor accountability – something that the president needs to recognize and uphold.

“If he doesn’t hold them accountable, he would face backlash. Why doesn’t he want to cooperate with the ICC? If you analyze further, it is to shield Duterte and others from accountability. He should be wary of that,” the ICC assistant to counsel added.

READ: Marcos adamant: No ICC probe into PH war on drugs

As for the international front, Conti noted that it would leave a bad taste in the mouth of other states if they were to see that the Philippine government does not honor its commitments, including its treaty with the ICC.


Citing Article 127 of the Rome Statute of the ICC, the lawyer said that states are not discharged of obligations from the statute accrued while it was still a part of the ICC.

“If Marcos would say that he does not acknowledge this, it would affect all other treaties that he had signed because it would indicate that the Philippines will pull out of international agreements the moment they see that it is unfavorable to the country,” Conti continued.

Duterte pulled out from the ICC in 2018, two years after he took office and started his version of a nationwide campaign against illegal drugs.

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Marcos has consistently said that he does not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICC in the Philippines, saying that it would “open a Pandora’s box” of questions on the country’s jurisdiction and sovereignty.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., ICC drug war probe, International Criminal Court, Kristina Conti, Rodrigo Duterte

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