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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Marcos stand on international probe on PH drug war ‘unchanged’

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s stand against cooperating in the probe by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on illegal drug operations “remains unchanged,” Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said.

Guevarra made the comment in response to calls of the Makabayan bloc for the President to support the ICC investigation on violations committed during the war against illegal drugs under the administration of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

“The ICC prosecutor is free to pursue his investigation any way he wants, but he cannot expect any cooperation from the Philippine government,” Guevarra said.

“As far as we are concerned, any and all complaints against the conduct of the war on drugs must be lodged before our own prosecutorial and judicial system,” he added.

Guevarra recalled that “the ICC Appeals Chamber failed to rule categorically on our jurisdictional challenge.”

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“So we maintain our position that the ICC can no longer exercise jurisdiction over the Philippine situation long after our withdrawal from the ICC way back in 2019,” the chief state lawyer pointed out.

Last July 18, the ICC Appeals Chamber issued a ruling that denied the Philippines’ appeal that opposed the order to have the ICC prosecutor resume its investigation of the drugs war.

The OSG had pointed out in its appeal before the ICC that the Philippines already withdrew as a state party of the Rome Statute that created the ICC and this took effect on March 19, 2022 before the ICC prosecutor ordered an investigation in the drugs war.

President Marcos had said he did not consider the judgment of the ICC as legitimate and that he would not cooperate with their investigation.

“That is not something we consider to be a legitimate judgment. Until those questions of jurisdiction and the effects on the sovereignty of the Republic are sufficiently answered, I cannot cooperate with them,” Mr. Marcos said.

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