ICC and our internal affairs | Inquirer Opinion

ICC and our internal affairs

/ 04:10 AM November 27, 2023

Quoting President Marcos and echoing what her father said when he was president, Vice President Sara Duterte declared that “Any probe conducted by the [International Criminal Court] would be an intrusion into our internal matters, and a threat to our sovereignty” and thus allegedly “patently unconstitutional.”

The Philippines indeed is sovereign and thus is in complete and exclusive control of all the people and property within its territory, therefore, other states do not have the right to interfere in our internal affairs. By entering, however, into international treaties (like the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court), we in effect have agreed that the treatment of our citizens is not only our exclusive concern. Thus, other countries can monitor and enforce human rights treaties against us for the way we treat our citizens.

Hence, the actions of the ICC (its determination that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes against humanity were committed in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs) are not an undue interference in our internal affairs and thus not violative of our sovereignty. In the very first place, it is the sovereign Filipino people themselves who have freely chosen to be governed among others by the Rome Statute, when their duly elected representatives ratified it, thus empowering the ICC to assume jurisdiction and intervene if the Philippines is unable or unwilling to carry out the investigation and prosecution of crimes against humanity.

While protesting ICC interference, did not then President Rodrigo Duterte once bragged (thus entangling himself in irreconcilable self-contradiction) that China has given him an assurance that he will not be taken out of office?


SEVERO Brillantes,

[email protected]

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TAGS: ICC drug war probe, International Criminal Court, Letters to the Editor, Rodrigo Duterte

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