International Criminal Court

Lagman: Cooperate with ICC to show respect for international rules

Kaycee Valmonte

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Lagman: Cooperate with ICC to show respect for international rules

AT WORK. Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman raises a point in Congress on September 11, 2018.

Darren Langit/Rappler file

The Liberal Party lawmaker files the third resolution at the House of Representatives urging relevant agencies to work with the International Criminal Court Prosecutor

MANILA, Philippines – Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman emphasized the importance of having the Philippine government cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe on the drug war, saying it would show the country’s respect for international law.

On Tuesday, November 21, Lagman, leader of the Liberal Party, filed the third resolution at the House of Representatives urging relevant agencies to work with the ICC Prosecutor on the probe.

House Resolution 1482 is similar to the ones filed by members of the Makabayan bloc last month, as well as the resolution submitted by Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante and 1-RIDER Representative Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez on Monday, November 20.

“Hopefully, it will be subject to first reading this afternoon and it will be referred to the same joint committees,” Lagman told reporters on Wednesday, November 22.

Lagman, a human rights lawyer, pointed out the need for accountability to ensure that the crimes committed would not be repeated.

“The ICC investigation into the alleged crimes committed during the anti-drug campaign would be an effective transitional justice mechanism to exact accountability from those responsible for the massive human rights violations and provide the victims the necessary remedies and reparation, as well as guaranties of non-repetition,” the resolution read.

The death tally of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war was 6,252 killed in anti-drug operations, as of May 2022. Human rights groups, however, estimate that the deaths could reach around 30,000, including vigilante-style killings.

The ICC Prosecutor’s investigation in the Philippines had repeatedly been opposed by the former Duterte administration, as well as the current government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., over the issue of jurisdiction, insisting that the state is conducting its own probe. Manila earlier this year requested the ICC to stop its probe, but the ICC declined.

“Ano pa naman ang hinihintay natin? Ipakita natin sa buong mundo na tayo ay hindi renegade at tayo ay sumusunod sa international rule or world order,” Lagman said.

(What are we waiting for? Let’s show the whole world that we are not renegades and that we follow international rules [or respect] world order.)

Lagman: Cooperate with ICC to show respect for international rules

The lawmaker thinks the President will also take into account the sentiment of lawmakers.

The chamber’s panels on human rights and justice met on Wednesday morning to discuss the first two resolutions, but it was suspended after 40 minutes to give way for Lagman’s to be taken up on first reading this afternoon.

Lawmakers at the joint session are also looking into inviting resource persons – from relevant government agencies as well as families of the victims – to attend the next meeting. – Rappler.com

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