Inquirer.net : If elected, Marcos to allow ICC team in PH—but only as tourists, not probers

26 January 2022

By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines — If he is elected president, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will allow the entry probers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to the country—but only as tourists.

Marcos Jr. said foreign probers do not need to enter the country to investigate the controversial war-against-drugs since the Philippines has a “functioning judiciary.”

“Papayagan ko sila rito pero magturista lang sila, dahil ang pagkakaunawa ko, the ICC is there ‘pag walang judiciary na nag-ooperate sa isang bansa, pag may economic collapse, gera, d’yan papasok ang ICC,” Marcos Jr. said during the 2022 Presidential One-On-One Interviews with Boy Abunda.

“We have a functioning judiciary, and that’s why I don’t see the need for a foreigner to come and do the job for us, do the job for our judicial system, our judicial system perfectly capable of doing that,” he added.

Allowing the ICC to probe in the Philippines also raises concerns about jurisdiction and sovereignty, said Marcos Jr.

“What is their jurisdiction to come here to the Philippines and conduct an investigation? Is that not a violation of our rights as a sovereign nation in the community of nations?” Marcos Jr. said.

“Those questions need to be answered before they can get allowed any investigation,” he added.

In November, the Philippine government formally requested ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to defer the investigation, saying the Duterte administration was already looking into allegations of extrajudicial killings in the war-against-drugs campaign.

In the same month, Khan informed the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ICC, which authorized his investigation in September, that he had “temporarily suspended” the probe while the prosecution “assesses the scope and effect” of the deferral request.

/MUF