Duterte urges House to remember Marcos’ stance on ICC investigation

Vice President Sara Duterte Defends Father, Former President Rodrigo Duterte, Against House of Representatives’ Move to Cooperate with ICC

Vice President Sara Duterte has spoken out in defense of her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, against attempts by the House of Representatives to urge government cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC). In her rare statement, she addressed the House’s call for cooperation with the ICC’s prosecution office into her father’s war on drugs.

Duterte emphasized the unconstitutionality of allowing the ICC to investigate alleged crimes that are under the jurisdiction of Philippine courts. She also expressed concern that allowing ICC prosecutors to handle domestic issues would belittle and degrade the country’s legal institutions.

She also reminded the House of Marcos’ position on the ICC investigation, quoting President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s statement that any probe conducted by the ICC would be an intrusion into internal matters and a threat to the country’s sovereignty.

The House resolution, authored by Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante and 1-Rider Party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, calls on the Marcos administration to extend their full cooperation to the ICC Prosecutor in its investigation of crimes committed under its jurisdiction, including the crime against humanity of murder in the context of the “war on drugs” campaign.

It should be noted that the Philippines, under the previous administration, had withdrawn from the ICC in 2018. However, the Rome Statute states that a state party cannot be discharged of its obligations to the statute before the withdrawal date.

The former president’s war on drugs is under scrutiny for reportedly killing thousands of people, leading to international human rights organizations estimating the death toll anywhere from 6,000 to 35,000.

The Vice President’s defense of her father and her call for respect for the country’s legal institutions in this matter has sparked conversation and debate among lawmakers and the public.

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