President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterates that he will cut off all relations between his country and the international judicial institution
July 21 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has announced that his country will not collaborate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has just reopened the investigation into the extremely violent war against drugs launched by his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, considering that It is an internal matter of the country.
Marcos Jr., also known as ‘Bongbong’, has been insisting on this idea for months since the TPI announced in March its willingness to resume its investigation, finally restarted this week, against former president Duterte.
The CFI investigation is based on a complaint filed in 2018 by non-governmental organizations and relatives of victims of Duterte’s “war on drugs”; a campaign of extraordinary police violence against drug traffickers that quickly spread to the civilian population.
The authorities acknowledge 6,181 deaths since the start of the operation in 2016, but human rights groups raise the figure to 30,000 deaths, many of them innocent, and highlight the impunity of the security forces responsible for these deaths.
The Philippine government has repeatedly maintained that the CFI has no jurisdiction to try these crimes and withdrew the country from the Treaty of Rome that supports the Court on March 17, 2019.
Marcos Jr. has reiterated this idea during his appearance this Friday, in which he insisted that the country has appealed the jurisdiction of the TPI over the Philippines – rejected by the court after accusing the country’s judges of inactivity – and that, as far as he is concerned, this is his last contact with the international institution.
“We have no more actions left to undertake, so this means that our relationship with the TPI has ended. From now on, it is time to defend the sovereignty of the country and our own investigations,” he added before reiterating that “we will not collaborate with them in any way, neither in substance nor in form, because these crimes were committed in the Philippines, and the victims are Filipinos”, in comments collected by the ABS-CBN chain.
The relatives of the victims and several groups defending Human Rights have applauded the decision of the court. Bryony Lau, deputy director for Asia at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has noted that the ruling “marks the next step towards justice for the victims of drug war murders and their families.”
“The Government of (Ferdinand) Marcos must uphold its declared commitment to Human Rights and the fight against impunity by complying with its international legal obligation to cooperate with the court’s investigation,” he said before urging the Philippine president to collaborate with the TPI, according to a statement from the NGO.