International Criminal Court

After House lawmakers, Hontiveros urges Marcos gov’t to help ICC probe into drug war

Bonz Magsambol

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After House lawmakers, Hontiveros urges Marcos gov’t to help ICC probe into drug war

SAVE THE CHILDREN. Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros delivers a privilege speech on a cult in Surigao del Norte that abuses its members, on September 18, 2023.

Bibo Nueva Espana/Senate PRIB

In filing Senate Resolution 867, Senator Risa Hontiveros says that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. himself had vowed 'to promote human rights and a high level of accountability for human rights violations'

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, November 28, filed a resolution urging the Philippine government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) probe into former president Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war that killed thousands.

Hontiveros filed Senate Resolution 867 citing Article 172(2) of the Rome Statute, which provides that “withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior.”

At the House of Representatives, there are three resolutions up for deliberations in joint sessions of the House panels on justice and human rights.

Hontiveros noted in her resolution that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. himself had vowed “to promote human rights and a ‘high level of accountability’ for human rights violations.”

“The Philippines has historically been at the forefront of advancing humanitarian law and international justice, and it is high time that we affirm our commitment to these values before the international community,” she said.

“The best way for Malacañang to show its commitment to upholding human rights is to work with the ICC in securing justice for human rights violations victims, and in upgrading mechanisms of human rights protections in the Philippines,” Hontiveros added.

In March 2018, the Philippines – upon the instructions of then-president Rodrigo Duterte – submitted to the United Nations a notice on its withdrawal from the ICC. The following year, in 2019, the tribunal announced the country’s departure from the Rome Statute.

It can be recalled that in August 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that “the Philippines has no intention of rejoining the ICC.” In February 2023, he reiterated that he cannot cooperate with ICC unless the jurisdiction question is resolved.

But Marcos said on Friday, November 24, that the return of the Philippines to the ICC was “under study.” The President made the statement in a media interview in Taguig City, while responding to questions on the proposed House resolutions urging the government to cooperate with the ICC investigation.

Meanwhile, Vice President Sara Duterte said that while she respects the decision of the President, she will reach out to the Department of Justice to present their opposition to the Philippines rejoining the ICC.

“We will continue to reach out to the DOJ regarding our position on this matter and we will lay down the legal basis of our position with the DOJ,” she said. – Rappler.com

3 comments

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  1. ET

    What did President Marcos Jr. mean by “under study”? As of this writing, four working days have already passed and he has not yet finished studying it. Anyway, here comes VP Sara (SWOH) who said she “respects” the decision of the President but still would present her “opposition to the Philippines rejoining the ICC.” Some sort of a double-spoke?

  2. EJ

    Anyone can dig every possible legal position that anyone can find, but as the saying goes – not everything legal is moral and true. TRUTH and MORALS are far better and higher values for humanity and democracy to exist – values despised by the evil ones.

    1. ET

      Indeed, Truth and Morals are despised by the Masters of Disinformation, Repression, and Corruption.

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler.