Marcos to respond to lingering ICC-drug war issues

President Bongbong Marcos will announce the government’s position on whether there would be undue encroachment on the country’s sovereignty and its judicial functions, vis-a-vis the International Criminal Court’s investigation on the conduct of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.

“Yes, the prospective ICC investigation has been the subject of discussions at the highest levels of government. We are practically unanimous on how we shall deal with it. But I’ll leave it to the president to make the appropriate statement in light of the deadline set by the ICC on 8 September for the submission of any further comment or observation on the part of the Philippine government,” Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said in a text message to Daily Tribune.

To recall, the ICC requested the Philippine government to comment on the proposed reopening of the court’s investigation of the drug war, as ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced on 24 June.

The request was signed by ICC Judges Péter Kovács, Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou, and María del Socorro Flores Liera.

The ICC, on the other hand, gave Khan until 22 Sept. to relay “factual arguments” from the Philippine government that it was investigating or had investigated the alleged “criminal acts” committed in the drug war that might be under ICC jurisdiction, as stated in the Rome Statute.

In 2018, Duterte withdrew the Philippines’ membership in the ICC following the latter’s preliminary examination on the drug war’s operations.

Under ICC rules, the withdrawal took effect a year later.

The ICC said it still has jurisdiction over any possible crimes committed between 2011 — the year the Philippines ratified the agreement — and 2019, the year of withdrawal.

Government data showed at least 6,000 people were killed in police anti-drug operations during Duterte’s term from 2016 to 2022

Khan cited a 2022 report of the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights (CHR), describing these deaths as the result of “excessive and disproportionate force” against drug suspects amid “a culture of impunity.”

Marcos, in a previous statement, said the Philippines “has no intention” of rejoining the ICC, a stand Justice Sec. Boying Remulla agreed with.

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