Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Philippines cuts ties with ICC over drugs war investigation

The Philippines has cut off communication with the International Criminal Court after it refused to suspend an investigation into the war on drugs.

• March 28, 2023
A photo of hard drugs and alcohol to illustrate the story
A photo of hard drugs and alcohol used to illustrate the story [Photo Credit: Cabreraluengo]

The Philippines has cut off communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it refused to suspend an investigation into the war on drugs, which has left thousands dead.

“That ends all our involvement with the ICC,’’ President Ferdinand Marcos Jr told reporters Tuesday after his government’s appeal was rejected. “The appeal has failed, and in our view, there is nothing more that we can do. At this point, we essentially are disengaging from any contact, from any communication with the ICC.’’

The president noted that his government had not been cooperating with the ICC in the case so far but is merely commenting on the state of the procedure in the controversial anti-drug campaign.

“We ended up in the same position that we started with, and that is, we cannot cooperate with the ICC, considering the very serious questions about their jurisdiction and about what we consider to be interference and practically attacks on the sovereignty of the republic,’’ he said.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte launched the war on drugs when he was elected president in 2016 after running an anti-crime campaign.

However, police said more than 6,000 people were killed in operations against illegal drugs during Mr Duterte’s administration.

But human rights groups have alleged that the death toll could be three times higher.

In March 2018, Mr Duterte ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC after the court’s chief prosecutor announced a preliminary examination of his war on drugs campaign.

The withdrawal took effect on March 17, 2019.

Based in The Hague, the ICC is the first treaty-based permanent international criminal court created by the Rome Statute of 1998. 


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