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House leaders welcome possibility of PBBM changing mind on ICC

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House leaders on Thursday expressed openness to the prospect of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. reconsidering his stance on the International Criminal Court (ICC), echoing the sentiment that “nothing is impossible,” a press release from the House of Representatives said.

President Marcos has consistently asserted that the Philippines has “no intention” of rejoining the ICC and will not cooperate with its investigation into the bloody drug war during the previous Duterte administration.

However, reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was preparing a briefer for President Marcos on a potential ICC scenario have sparked discussions about the administration’s policy direction.

Citing the significance of the DOJ briefer, Assistant Majority Leader and Manila 1st District Rep. Ernesto “Ernix” Dionisio said it will provide clarity on whether the Philippines should reconsider its participation in the ICC.

He underscored the need for President Marcos to have access to comprehensive information before making a decision regarding the Philippines’ relationship with the ICC.

Dionisio also reiterated his stance that there should be no fear of the ICC.

“If there is nothing to hide, why be afraid of ICC?” he pointed out. “So, either way I would wait for the President’s decision after he sees the complete briefer of the DOJ.”

Deputy Majority Leader and Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy V emphasized the importance of the President receiving all relevant information from the DOJ before making any decision.

Dy, meanwhile, drew parallels to a previous unilateral withdrawal from the 2019 Rome Statute, suggesting that a similar move could be a possibility if deemed necessary by President Marcos.

“That’s also a possibility if we can unilaterally enter into that same statute if we unilaterally withdrew from it before,” Dy said.

Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre noted that the DOJ’s preparation of a briefer regarding the ICC issue suggests that the President has not closed his mind to potential courses of action.

Acknowledging the diversity of opinions surrounding the Philippines’ participation in the ICC, Acidre emphasized the importance of thoroughly studying the matter due to the multitude of conflicting interests.

Acidre stressed the significance of the Philippines’ involvement in the ICC within a rules-based international order, emphasizing the ICC’s role in promoting accountability and justice, particularly in cases where nations struggle to address crimes within their territories.

He nevertheless underscored the need for careful consideration and analysis by the Marcos administration.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is preparing a briefer for President Marcos on scenarios related to the International Criminal Court (ICC), including a potential warrant for the arrest of former President Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippines’ return to the court after exiting in 2019.

DOJ Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano stated that the department’s legal team is meticulously preparing all scenarios for the President in relation to the ICC’s investigation into the drug war waged by the Duterte administration.*


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May 2024

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