Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada’s response to query on his decision to file SRN 492

Despite our country’s departure from the Rome Statute, the ICC is claiming that it retains jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes that occurred in the Philippines while our country is still a State Party.

I would like to make it clear that I did not change my mind insofar as casting my vote to concur with the ratification of the Rome Statute some 12 years ago. My position then, if I may qualify it, may already be rendered moot and academic following our country’s withdrawal from the Statute on 17 March 2018.

Ang paninindigan ko sa issue na ito ay batay na rin sa Rome Statute’s principle of complementarity which recognizes a State’s right to exercise jurisdiction over most serious crimes of international concern. Sa ilalim ng principle of complementarity, the International Criminal Court will only act if such State is unable or unwilling to investigate and prosecute the crime.

As I have pointed out in Senate Resolution No. 492, our domestic institutions are fully functional and more than capable to address the concerns raised by the Prosecutor of the ICC Karim A. A. Khan QC and our government formally conveyed this to the ICC in a letter dated November 10, 2021. Our Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service have in fact investigated the alleged crimes committed between July 1, 2016 to March 16, 2019 under the so-called war on drugs campaign and such effort resulted in the filing of four criminal cases before the courts.

Malinaw na pinapairal natin ang pagpapatupad ng batas at tinutugis ng mga kinauukulan ang mga indibidwal na napag-alamang may mga paglabag o pagkakasala. Anumang panghihimasok ng ICC sa hurisdiksyon ng ating gobyerno ay maituturing na paglapastangan sa soberanya ng Pilipinas.