We have nagging notions and question marks on the insistence by the The Hague-based International Criminal Court to proceed with its investigation of former President Rodrigo Duterte for the alleged extrajudicial killings during his term.
The ICC can go at full throttle if the judicial system in the country is not working, but its arm-twisting, applauded by some in the Philippines, can only speak of its brand of blinders and imprudent partiality.
Instance, the country’s judicial system is on a roll, with more than 50 cases involving nearly 160 police officers charged with crimes related to Mr. Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, with two convictions on the bulletin board.
It would have been different if the Philippine judicial system has crashed and been paralyzed—but the situation is at odds with what advocates and the appearingly now partisan ICC are trying to project.
We add our sentiments to the statement made recently by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the ICC has no jurisdiction while insisting the Philippines has a “good” justice system.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Philippine Military Academy’s alumni homecoming in Baguio City, the President maintained the Philippines would not cooperate with the ICC investigation which, he said, would be an “intrusion into our internal matters” and “a threat to our sovereignty.”
“My position has not changed. I have stated it often, even before I took office as president, that there are many questions about (ICC’s) jurisdiction and what we in the Philippines regard as an intrusion into our internal matters and a threat to our sovereignty,” the President said.
Mr. Marcos said he would not allow “former imperialists” such as the ICC to control the Philippines, unless it could be proven the international court has jurisdiction over the country.
“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, we cannot cooperate with them,” he said.
We also see the point of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla in calling ICC’s attempt as a political agenda, underscoring the ICC, while it is called a court, is a “political body in many ways.”
“It is not just a body for justice but it is meant to forward a political agenda for many people. Why do I say this? Because we are a country with a legal system that can function by itself and they want to take over some of our functions just to criticize the way we (had) run our country before,” Remulla said.
Like him, we see nothing wrong with the resolution filed by former president and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who sought to defend Duterte from ICC’sstick-to-it-iveness in running after Duterte.
We wonder why drug cartels who have caused addiction, suffering and deaths for years are not being investigated by the ICC.