Hontiveros hits move to disengage from ICC: It will isolate PH from world
MANILA, Philippines — If the call of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is unity across the globe, why is he pushing for the Philippines to disengage from the International Criminal Court (ICC) – a move that “will only isolate the Philippines at a time when countries have been trying to forge alliances”?
Sen. Risa Hontiveros raised this concern on Wednesday after Marcos announced that the Philippines would be “essentially disengaging” from the ICC after the international body junked the government’s plea to suspend its probe into former President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent war on drugs.
READ: Marcos: PH ‘essentially disengaging’ from ICC after ‘failed’ appeal to defer ‘drug war’ probe
“His decision to disengage from the ICC is a mistake and will only isolate the Philippines at a time when countries have been trying to forge alliances,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
The legislator questioned the “integrity” of Marcos’ word, noting that the Chief Executive had been flying around the world – even speaking before the United Nations – to call for global unity and cooperation and vowing to uphold human rights and justice.
“If he acts on his decision to disengage from the ICC, he will embarrass the Philippines on the international stage,” she stressed.
Hontiveros also lamented the seeming difference between the country’s desire to withdraw from the ICC versus its interest in serving justice for drug war victims.
“I am not aware of any attempt the administration has made to investigate the murders during the drug war. Will the President yet again, as they did with many Martial Law victim-survivors, leave the families of the victims empty-handed? Only three cases of at least 6,000 drug-related killings in the past seven years have been resolved,” she said.
There have only been two criminal convictions of law enforcers for high-profile murder cases linked to Duterte’s drug war.
READ: Cop found guilty of 2 teenagers’ killing in 2017 drug war
A Quezon City court, meanwhile, has junked charges against a man who played dead before fleeing the scene of a 2016 bloody drug raid conducted by police – an allegation lodged against him by law enforcers upon discovering that he was still alive.
READ: QC court acquits drug war survivor, junks cops’ ‘nanlaban’ claim
Hontiveros then raised doubt over the government’s claim that the justice system is working when “they have not exerted any aggressive effort to prove so.”
“The administration is willing to settle for a slow-paced rate that will take several lifetimes to tackle all these. It is an impossible task. The President seems to be protecting an ally when he should be protecting the Filipino people,” she argued.
The opposition senator also reignited the call for the Philippines to rejoin the ICC to protect the best interests of its people.
Marcos, along with other government officials, has parroted his predecessor’s argument that the ICC has no right to probe into the drug war killings after Duterte declared the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March 2018.
READ: Duterte does the inevitable, declares PH withdrawal from ICC
But this position clashes with a Supreme Court decision in March 2021, which states that “withdrawing from the Rome Statute does not discharge a state party from the obligations it has incurred as a member.”
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