Philippines still has an obligation to cooperate with the ICC — Carpio
November 16, 2023 | 7:31pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines still has an obligation to cooperate with the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the drug war as the alleged crimes were committed before the country withdrew from the Rome Statute, retired Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said.
Carpio referenced the 2021 case of Pangilinan et al. vs. Cayetano et. al. where the SC dismissed the petitions to make the withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC invalid.
“Let me just point out the decision of the Supreme Court on this, sabi ng Supreme Court, while the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute and ICC took effect at a certain date, the Philippines has the obligation to comply, to cooperate with the ICC for acts committed before we withdrew,” Carpio said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“We have the obligation to cooperate because these are crimes which were allegedly committed before we withdrew. It is our obligation. I am just quoting the Supreme Court decision,” he added.
The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute in 2019 after ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started her preliminary investigation on human rights violations during former President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
During the filing of grave threat raps against Duterte by Rep. France Castro (ACT-Teachers) on October 24, lawyer Tony La Viña emphasized that Duterte is now vulnerable to lawsuits for the presidential immunity has already lapsed.
“Puwede na mag-file for crimes committed before his presidency, during his presidency, and after his presidency (We can now file charges for his [Duterte’s] crimes committed before his presidency, during his presidency and after his presidency),” La Viña said.
“We are hoping na magbubukas (ito) ng wave of accountability lawsuits. (We hope that this will pave the way for accountability lawsuits against Duterte),” he added.