Marcos Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Marcos did not shut down ICC

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FACT CHECK: Marcos did not shut down ICC
The ICC is an independent international organization that cannot be ordered shut down by a Philippine president

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the closure of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the title and thumbnail of a YouTube video posted on December 5 by a channel with 92,000 subscribers. As of writing, the video has 3,700 views and 91 likes. 

The video’s title reads: ICC pinasara na Pres marcos DU30 Abswelto na/ Romualdez Hontiveros na-shocked.” 

(ICC has been ordered shut down by President Marcos; Duterte has finally been acquitted. Romualdez and Hontiveros were shocked.)

Its thumbnail bore the text: Pinasara na ang ICC” (The ICC was ordered to close down.)

The misleading video was uploaded amid recent calls from lawmakers urging the Marcos government to cooperate with the ICC’s investigation into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

The bottom line: The ICC is an independent international organization that cannot be ordered by Marcos to shut down. Furthermore, the Philippines has withdrawn its membership from the Court. The Assembly of States Parties serves as the body that provides management oversight regarding administration of the Court and makes decisions on various issues, including the budget, election of judges and prosecutors, and amendment of law and procedures.

The Assembly is composed of representatives of the states that have ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, the legal basis for establishing the ICC.

The misleading video does not provide any evidence to support its claim, instead merely using audio from another source that discusses the ICC and its relationship with the Philippines. 

War on drugs: The Philippines withdrew its ratification of the Rome Statute on March 17, 2018, which took effect in 2019. This was prompted by the preliminary probe launched by former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda into the Duterte drug war killings. At least 6,252 individuals were killed in police operations as of May 2022, according to government data. Human rights groups, however, estimate that between 27,000 to 30,000 people have been killed. 

Despite the Philippines’ withdrawal from the war crimes tribunal, the ICC said that it retains jurisdiction “with respect to alleged crimes that occurred on the territory of the Philippines while it was a State Party, from 1 November 2011 up to and including 16 March 2019.” (TIMELINE: The International Criminal Court and Duterte’s bloody war on drugs)

In November, in response to questions on the House resolutions pushing for the government’s cooperation with the drug war probe, Marcos said that the Philippines’ return to the ICC was “under study.”

International court: The ICC is the world’s first treaty-based permanent international criminal court. Its founding document is the Rome Statute, which was adopted by 120 states in 1998. The Philippines became the 117th country to ratify the Rome Statute in 2011. 

The ICC was established to address the most serious crimes that significantly impact the global community, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Andrei Santos/

Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

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