Critics of PH’s return to ICC only serving Duterte’s interest, says De Lima
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday blasted those who are against the country’s possible return to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
For her, rejoining the ICC should not be difficult since she said the Philippines’ withdrawal in the first place only serves the interest of one man — former President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Why would it be so difficult to rejoin ICC when the withdrawal therefrom was highly suspect, serving only the interest of one man who obviously just wanted to evade accountability?” De Lima asked in a statement posted on social media.
“So why perpetuate Duterte’s self-serving and shameless act of withdrawal?” she further asked.
De Lima went on to say that “those who oppose rejoining the ICC are only serving the interest of Duterte and others who are responsible for the murder of thousands of our countrymen.”
Duterte is among the subjects of a complaint filed before the ICC over his bloody war on drugs that allegedly resulted in the deaths of thousands of suspected drug suspects.
It was also during Duterte’s reign when De Lima was detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City in 2017 over her supposed involvement in illegal drugs. Nearly seven years later, her petition for bail was granted by a local court.
In March 2018, Duterte declared the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute — the treaty that established the ICC.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s recent statement, however, sparked talks of a possible return to the ICC.
“There is also a question, should we return under the fold of the ICC, so that’s again under study. So we’ll just keep looking at it and see what our options are,” Marcos said last week.
Separate resolutions have already been filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives, urging the government to cooperate with the ICC’s probe of alleged human rights abuses during Duterte’s time.