Pimentel urges Marcos admin: PH should re-join ICC
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko”Pimentel III urged Friday the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to re-apply for the Philippines’ membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Pimentel said “there is nothing to fear with the membership in the ICC”, stressing that it serves as the “court of last resort.”
“The administration, the President being the chief architect of foreign policy, I suggest that he re-applies for the membership of the Philippines in the ICC,” Pimentel said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“If there is suddenly abuse occurring here in the Philippines affecting life liberty, human rights, and Filipinos could no longer run to the government or to the courts, then we have a court of last resort na matakbuhan natin (that we can run to),” he added.
The ICC, Pimentel said, should be an “available remedy” for Filipinos.
“Wala naman sigurong ihahalal ang taumbayan, ilalagay sa pinaka makapangyarihang pwesto sa gobyerno para lang i-abuse sila o gipitin sila (Our countrymen would not elect a leader who will just abuse them),” Pimentel said.
“The culture tells us that we should be producing such a leader. There is nothing to fear with the membership in the ICC,” he added.
The Philippines withdrew from the ICC in 2019 after the latter launched a “preliminary examination” on the accusation that then President Rodrigo Duterte had committed crimes against humanity in relation to the controversial war-on-drugs campaign.
READ: Duterte does the inevitable, declares PH withdrawal from ICC
Asked if he believes the present Marcos administration is protecting Duterte, Pimentel said: “I am not sensing that yet. Let us wait for further pronouncements on the issue.”
Nonetheless, Pimentel said the Philippines should cooperate with the ICC.
“Narinig ko rin naman (I heard) that the attitude is to cooperate if reports are needed, then the Philippine government will submit the request reports. That is a good start,” Pimentel said.
“We should cooperate if you want to be treated as a responsible member of the international community. We have to comply with our treaty obligations,” he added.
On Wednesday, Marcos met with some of his Cabinet members to discuss the government’s position on the investigation of the ICC.
Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra earlier said Marcos would have to be consulted regarding the request of the ICC for the Philippines to comment on ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan’s move to resume the investigation into Duterte’s bloody campaign against drugs.
Palace on ICC withdrawal: PH can manage with its own laws
ICC asks PH, victims to comment on resumption of drug war probe
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.