The Davao City government would take its cue from the national government should the International Criminal Court ask for its assistance in a probe on the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, Mayor Sara Duterte said on Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter said this in an ambush interview at a hotel in Makati City after ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced on Monday she had asked for authority from ICC judges for an investigation of killings attributed to the war on drugs.
“Well, we’ll wait, no, kung ano ‘yung actions ng national government.
And kung may kailangan sila (ICC) sa city government of Davao, we will ask permission from the national (government),” the mayor said in an exclusive report by GMA’s Ian Cruz on “24 Oras.”
Duterte has repeatedly said he would not cooperate with any investigation by the ICC, a position his spokesman Harry Roque Jr. repeated on Tuesday.
The elder Duterte served as the mayor of Davao for over 20 years before becoming president in 2016.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said pursuing the ICC probe would be an insult to all Filipinos as it implies that the country's legal system is not working.
“It is an insult to all Filipinos for a foreigner like Bensouda andfor fellow Filipinos who say legal institutions in the Philippines are not working and do not give justice. That’s an insult," he said.
"How dare you say that the Philippine legal system is not working. This is an emotional issue for all lawyers and for all Filipinos. We’re not like that in the Republic of the Philippines."
Roque cited the principle of complementarity in which the ICC can only investigate crimes against humanity if local courts are unable or unwilling to do so.
"When you say unable, it means, the state, the courts, the police are not functioning, it is a failed state,” he said.
“And the most important point that everyone should understand is that the institutions in the Philippines are working,” he added.
The ICC investigation is not pursuant or in aid of substantial justice, Roque said.
“It is not in pursuit of substantial justice. Why? We are no longer an ICC member. The right and capacity of a court to investigate, to file a case depends on the cooperation of the state,” he said.
“My first submission is that the ICC Prosecutor has no jurisdiction.
She alleged in the first instance that the Philippine war on drugs is an instance of a crime against humanity. What is a crime against humanity? A crime against humanity is defined under the statute of the
ICC law as a widespread or systematic attack against civilians knowing that the subjects of attack are civilians,” he added.
He said the government will not allow the ICC to substitute domestic courts, stressing that the country's legal system is independent, impartial, and competent.
“Because of complementarity, I am confident that the pre-trial chamber will reject the request for investigation,” he said.