Philippine House Committees Call for Cooperation with ICC on Drug War Investigation

Manila, Philippines - The House of Representatives' committees on justice and human rights have unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Marcos administration to engage with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its investigation of former President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs. The resolution was adopted following four hours of deliberation on Wednesday.

According to Philippines News Agency, The resolution, known as House Resolution (HR) 1477, was authored by Manila 6th District Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. and 1-Rider Party-list Representative Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez. It was consolidated with HR 1482 by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and HR 1393 by Party-list Representatives France Castro (ACT Teachers), Raoul Manuel (Kabataan), and Arlene Brosas (Gabriela). During the hearing, Representative Lagman clarified that the focus was not on rejoining the ICC, while Representative Abante emphasized that cooperation with the ICC does not undermine the Philippine justice system.

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra indicated that while the Philippine government is not legally obligated to cooperate with the ICC's probe, it would not hinder ICC prosecutors from conducting their investigation within the country. Guevarra stated that the decision to cooperate with the ICC lies with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., deeming it a political decision.

Representatives from the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs echoed the sentiment of deferring to the President's position on this matter. The Philippine National Police, through Deputy Director Brig. Gen. Rodolfo Castil Jr., also affirmed its submission to the President's decision.

Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Fayda M. Dumarpa expressed the commission's willingness to coordinate with the ICC if necessary. Abante highlighted that HR 1477 represents the Philippines' commitment to the rule of law and accountability, stating that cooperation with the ICC, even after withdrawing from the Rome Statute, demonstrates a commitment to global accountability and the fight against impunity.

House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Representative Aurelio Gonzales Jr. responded to Senator Ronald dela Rosa's concerns regarding the timing of the resolution. Gonzales emphasized the House's mandate to act on resolutions filed by its members and requested parliamentary courtesy from the Senate.

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