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Pacquiao says he will respect, won't block ICC probe vs Duterte 

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Pacquiao says he will respect, won't block ICC probe vs Duterte 
Sen. Manny Pacquiao speaks at the Senate's plenary hall in this undated photo.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Friday said he would not impede the investigation of the International Criminal Court against President Rodrigo Duterte should he win in next year's elections.

The ICC's pretrial chamber has begun a full probe into the supposed crimes against humanity on Duterte administration's bloody anti-illegal drug campaign that has seen thousands killed since 2016.

Malacañang has vowed it will not cooperate and said no member of the international body would be allowed entry to the Philippines to gather information on the case. 

"We respect the investigation of the ICC," Pacquiao told ANC's "Headstart" where he made an erroneous claim that the country is still part of the tribunal. 

Duterte pulled the Philippines out of the ICC in 2019 after then special prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated a preliminary examination into claims of extrajudicial killings under the president's drug war. 

"We will not be against that because that is their right as we are a member of the international community," Pacquiao added. "We should respect their process."

The presidential aspirant was asked if that meant he would allow Duterte to be jailed if he succeeds him next year. 

To which, Pacquiao only said: "When it comes to that, we respect the investigation of the ICC."

For most of his years as senator under the Duterte administration, Pacquiao has been a close ally of the president. 

But things fell apart for the two this 2021, which led to the ruling party PDP-Laban to also split.

As a result, Pacquiao will be eyeing the presidency under his own faction of the party, while there is another of Duterte led by his Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.  

Stance on the drug war 

How did Pacquiao's view of Duterte's crackdown on illegal drugs changed over the course of time?

In 2017, he said it was unfair for the Philippine National Police that only deaths from the drug war were being put on spotlight, when many as well have surrendered. 

The year after that, Pacquiao, who has long claimed he is "pro-life," told students of Oxford University in the United Kingdom that there are no EJKs in his country. 

Pacquiao has also supported returning the death penalty as capital punishment — through firing squad — for drug lords and pushers. — Christian Deiparine

2022 ELECTIONS

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

MANNY PACQUIAO

RODRIGO DUTERTE

WAR ON DRUGS

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 8, 2022 - 5:24pm

President Rodrigo Duterte says the controversial drug war will continue until the last day of his term, with or without a communication filed at the International Criminal Court.

The ICC recently announced that it has begun processing the accusations against Duterte and his campaign against illegal drugs, which has led to the killing of thousands of people since he assumed power in June 2016. — Photo of the ICC building by AP/Peter Dejong

September 8, 2022 - 5:24pm

The Philippines is asking the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court to deny a request by the Office of the Prosecutor to resume its investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed in the Philippines while it was a member of the ICC, including the early years of the "war on drugs."

According to the Office of the Solicitor General, the Philippines argues that the alleged crimes that happened are not "crimes against humanity", that the alleged crimes are already being investigated and that these state-level investigations should take precedence over investigations by the ICC.

August 2, 2022 - 1:08pm

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra says President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s decision to not rejoin the International Criminal Court is his prerogative.

"I suppose the president’s primary consideration is always the best interests of our country, with utmost regard for our national sovereignty," he says.

Marcos' statement is a big blow to families of "War on Drugs" victims who are calling for justice for their slain loved ones, despite the president's initial statement when he was elected on putting "importance of ensuring high-level of accountability in terms of human rights [violations]."

August 1, 2022 - 1:51pm

The Philippines will not rejoin the International Criminal Court, which it left in March 2019 over an inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings in the Duterte administration's "War on Drugs", President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. says. — via The STAR/Alexis Romero

July 4, 2022 - 9:17am

Mga Manananggol laban sa Extrajudicial Killings (Manlaban sa EJK) says President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should cooperate with the International Criminal Court if he aims to achieve "high level of accountability" in human rights. 

June 24, 2022 - 11:18pm

Requesting to resume investigation into Duterte admin's "war on drugs," Karim Khan, International Criminal Court prosecutor, concludes that Philippine government "has not demonstrated that it has investigated" the crimes.

ICC Prosecutor Khan also argues that the info that Philippine government submitted is insufficient and that the drug war cases only led to "non-penal initiatives and proceedings" without criminal prosecution.

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