November 28, 2023
MANILA – Vice President Sara Duterte on Monday said she respects President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to study the prospect of having the country return as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
”We all should respect the position of the President. Being the chief architect of foreign policy, ‘yoon po lahat dapat ang position natin lahat (that should all be our position),” said Duterte on the sidelines of the 31st National Children’s Month Culminating Program at the Manila Hotel.
Duterte, however, said that her office would continue to reach out to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to present their position against the possibility of the government working with the ICC in its investigation into the bloody war on drugs during the administration of her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte.
“We will continue to reach out to the DOJ regarding our position on this matter and we will lay down the legal basis of our position with the DOJ,” she added.
President Marcos last Friday, Nov. 24, said that the government is studying the possibility of the Philippines resuming its ICC membership.
While he acknowledged calls from the Congress’ lower chamber to cooperate with the ICC, Marcos maintained his position that the ICC has no jurisdiction to conduct a probe on the alleged crimes committed under his predecessor’s war on drugs.
Former President Duterte withdrew the Philippines’ membership from the international court in 2019, but the ICC could still push through with its investigation under the Rome Statute.
The government tally on drug war deaths sits at over 6,000, but several rights groups claim that along with unreported and undocumented victims, the number may reach at least 20,000.