The Philippines has ‘no intention’ of joining the International Criminal Court

The Philippines will not join the International Criminal Court, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr announced on Monday (August 1st), as the court’s prosecutor seeks to reopen an investigation into the deadly drug war led by ex-President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Philippines has no intention of joining the ICC“said Ferdinand Marcos Jr to reporters, who had previously indicated that he would not cooperate in the event of an investigation. Manila withdrew from the ICC in 2019 after the opening of a preliminary investigation into Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

A lack of jurisdiction

Last September, the judges of the Court, based in The Hague (Netherlands), had authorized an investigation into this war marked by thousands of people killed by the police, which could constitute, according to the judges, crimes against humanity. This was suspended two months later, Manila ensuring that it would look into these alleged crimes itself. During his presidency, Rodrigo Duterte refused to cooperate with the Court citing a lack of jurisdiction, an allegation later dismissed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In June, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, said the Philippines’ request to postpone the investigation was not justified and that it should resume “as fast as possible“.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr, a prominent drug war advocate, was elected president in a landslide victory in May, thanks to an alliance with Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Sara, who won the running for vice president. The Court invited the Philippines “to commenton the prosecutor’s request to resume the investigation. Manila has until September 8 to respond. But the current president does not seem willing to submit to the jurisdiction of The Hague. Even if the ICC gathers enough evidence to initiate proceedings against Rodrigo Duterte, its rules prevent it from trying him in absentia.

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