Philippines’ disengagement from any contact and communication with International Criminal Court (ICC)

Do you honest believe that your country is under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at all? I had to ask that question because my native Philippines continues to be the ICC’s subject over the issues related to the war against drugs that happened during the administration of previous President Rodrigo Duterte. Recently, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., announced that the nation will be disengaging from any contact and communication with the ICC as a result of the international organization’s latest rejection of the Philippines request related to an investigation about the said drug war, according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) article.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA news article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippines is “disengaging” from any contact and communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it rejected the country’s request to suspend its ongoing investigation into former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Tuesday.

Marcos made this remark after the ICC Appeals Chamber, in a decision dated March 27, denied the Philippines’ plea “in the absence of persuasive reasons in support of ordering suspensive effect.”

At this point, we essentially are disengaging from any contact, from any communication I guess with the ICC…We ended up with the same position that we started with and that is we cannot cooperate with the ICC,” he told reporters in a media interview during an event at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

He said the ICC decision to reject the country’s plea ends the Philippines’ involvement with the Hague-based international court.

We don’t have a next move. That is the extent of our involvement with the ICC. That ends all our involvement with the ICC because hindi na tayo pwedeng mag-appeal (we can no longer appeal),” he said.

“The appeal has failed. And there’s – in our view, there is nothing more that we can do in the government,” he added.

He said the Philippines “no longer” has any recourse when it comes to the ICC.

“We have not been involved with the actual action. Merely as a comment, we would comment, and the appeal is part of a comment. But we have not appeared as a party in the ICC because we do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. And so that is again, as I said, we have ended up now at the end where we really started,” he said.

He likewise cited “serious questions” about the ICC’s jurisdiction, saying he considered it to be “interference” and “practically attacks on the sovereignty.”

To recall, the Philippine government submitted two requests — a notice of appeal in February and an appeal brief in March — to suspend the probe after ICC authorized its prosecutor, Karim Khan, to investigate alleged crimes committed during the Duterte administration’s anti-narcotics campaign.

In March 2018, Duterte ordered the Philippines’ termination of the Rome Statute that created the ICC after former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda continued with the preliminary examination.

The Philippines formally cut ties with the ICC on March 17, 2019, exactly a year after the revocation of the Rome Statute.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this recent development? If you are a citizen of the Philippines, do you really believe that the nation must give in to the demands and commands of the ICC knowing that the ties with them had officially ended since 2019? If the ICC keeps on interfering with the sovereignty and internal affairs of the Philippines, would you find that acceptable? How many people in your family believe that the Philippines should follow the ICC?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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