2nd Senate resolution rejects ICC probe of Duterte drug war

(ABS-CBN) Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada has filed a resolution to stop the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during the anti-narcotics campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

It is the second Senate resolution seeking to defend Duterte from the ICC. Sen. Robin Padilla filed a similar resolution on Monday. 

Senate Resolution No. 492 filed by Estrada said the decision of the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber authorizing the resumption of the probe “is disrespectful of the Philippines’ sovereignty and undermines the country’s fully capable judicial system.”

The resolution said a government review of police anti-narcotics operations led to the filing of four criminal cases against abusive police officers.

“This clearly shows the commitment of our government in ensuring that erring individuals will be brought to justice,” the senator said.

The resolution said as early as November 10, 2021, the government has already requested the deferral of the ICC investigations and proceedings citing the complementary principle under which the intergovernmental organization and internal tribunal operate.

“The letter of request stated that the Philippine Government has the first responsibility and right to prosecute crimes. Further, it stated that the ICC may only exercise jurisdiction where the national legal systems fail to do so which was not the case for the Philippines as domestic institutions are fully functional and more than capable to address the concerns raised in the prosecutor’s notification,” the senator said in reference to Prosecutor of ICC Karim A. A. Khan QC.

“It is hereby resolved that the Senate of the Philippines strongly opposes the decision of the ICC to resume its investigation on the crimes committed in the Philippine territory, in questioning the fully capable judicial system of the Philippines as well as disrespecting its sovereignty.”

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. earlier said the International Criminal Court (ICC) has “no jurisdiction” over the Philippines to investigate former President Rodrigo Duterte for his bloody drug war, saying it is a “threat to our sovereignty.” 

“I do not see what their jurisdiction is. I feel that we have in our police, in our judiciary, a good system. We do not need assistance from any outside entity, the Philippines is a sovereign nation and we are not colonies anymore of this former imperialist,” the Chief Executive said. 

“That is not something that we consider to be a legitimate judgment,” he added. 

“So until those questions of jurisdiction and the effects of the sovereignty of the Republic are sufficiently answered, I cannot cooperate with them.”

The ICC in January authorized the resumption of its investigation into the drug war and the Davao Death Squad killings in the Philippines.