Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson said that if he wins as president in 2022, he will support the return of the Philippines to the International Criminal Court (ICC) – but it depends on the conditions.
“Yes, we should go back to the Rome Statute. But we have to know our foreign policy. It has to be anchored on national interest, what the advantages and disadvantages are,” Lacson said on Thursday, November 4.
Lacson did not specify what these conditions were, but he said he would first want to consult with diplomacy experts before making a move.
Lacson was responding to the question of this reporter during Lacson’s first “Meet the Press” briefing with his running mate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
Why does this matter?
The Philippines withdrew from the ICC in March 2019, after President Rodrigo Duterte declared the country’s membership invalid.
This move has been slammed as self-serving, as Duterte’s popular but bloody “war on drugs” faces investigation by the ICC.
The Duterte government has since then blocked probes by agents of the ICC on top of restricting access to information on the drug war from local investigators and reporters.
Lacson, a retired police general, wants the Philippines to have a good standing on the world stage. This is critical to his plan to assert the country’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, where the Philippines will count on other countries to curb China’s abuses.
Lacson’s comment came a day after he and Sotto met with around 15 ambassadors to discuss their plans for the Philippines if ever they get elected. – Rappler.com