Hontiveros presses PH anew to cooperate with ICC probe into killings under Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros has again urged the Philippines to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s probe into the killings under the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte during his term as President and Davao City Mayor.
Hontiveros made the call on Wednesday after the international tribunal junked the Philippine government’s appeal to stop its investigation on the killings linked to Duterte’s drug war and the alleged Davao Death Squad.
“This is an important first step in achieving justice for the victims, the widows, and the orphans of the war on drugs,” the lawmaker said in a statement.
Hontiveros pressed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the members of the executive to cooperate with the probe “so that true justice is obtained.”
“The people are watching [to see] if he will put the country or his political alliance first. Sana ang ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ nila ay Pilipinas na makatarungan sa lahat,” she said, referring to Marcos’ 2022 election campaign ditty which has now become his administration’s governance slogan.
Ever since he assumed office, Marcos has repeatedly echoed the position of his predecessor in arguing against the ICC probe, which he has called an “attack” on Philippine sovereignty.
Marcos, who ran and won alongside Duterte’s daughter Sara in the 2022 elections, had even once declared that the Philippines will “disengage” with the Hague-based court.
He parroted the argument of other Duterte-allied government officials, citing the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute in 2018.
However, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber and even the Philippine Supreme Court have said the government is still obliged to cooperate, as Article 127 of the Rome Statute states that all proceedings done prior to the withdrawal remain valid.