The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday revealed that it has already made preparations to submit information on the drug war to the International Criminal Court (ICC) but said this was not an act of compliance but “comity and international cooperation.
“We already have made preparations. We’ve prepared updates already and that’s something that we do regularly because SOJ [the secretary of Justice] wants us to be on top of the drug war review,” said DOJ spokesman Mico Clavano.
The ICC has launched an investigation into alleged human rights abuses in the bloody drug war launched by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who refused to cooperate with the investigation, and who pulled the Philippines out of the ICC as a result.
The DOJ official said there will be updates on cases previously filed, investigations of the National Bureau of Investigation, and comments.
When asked if the DOJ is expecting the ICC to pursue its investigation, Clavano said there are no expectations.
“As a matter of fact, the conversations between the Secretary of Justice and our foreign dignitaries are very good. And we obviously made it clear. We emphasized that we’re willing to cooperate with them,” Clavano said.
He said the ICC may come in as observers and look at the country’s processes.
“Because we’re no longer part of the ICC, we’re under no obligation to submit these things because they asked for them. For us, we have a working justice system here in the Philippines and that is clear after the visit of US Senator Markey to former Senator (Leila) De Lima,” Clavano said.
The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019.