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

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

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 22, 2021 - 11:02am

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

November 22, 2021 - 11:02am

Free Legal Assistance Group urges the International Criminal Court to continue its investigation on the so-called war on drugs in the Philippines.

The lawyers’ group points out that the cited investigation merely relied on documents provided by the Philippine National Police and only covered a small fraction of killings under the bloody “war on drugs” by the Duterte administration.

“The DOJ ‘investigation’ adverted to in the Philippines’ deferral letter covers only a fraction of the killings or attempted killings which occurred within the scope of the ICC investigation,” the group says in a letter addressed to ICC Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan.

September 16, 2021 - 12:07pm

President Rodrigo Duterte will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court's probe into the drug war, his lawyer says Thursday, insisting the tribunal does not have jurisdiction in the country.

Duterte "will not cooperate since first of all, the Philippines has left the Rome statute, so the ICC no longer has jurisdiction over the country," chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo tells local radio DZBB.

"The government will not let in any ICC member to collect information and evidence here in the Philippines, they will be barred entry." — AFP

January 14, 2020 - 2:32pm

Lawyer Romel Bagares, lead counsel for Philippine Coalition for International Criminal Court, says Jude Sabio’s communication against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court was "largely irrelevant."

"To begin with, his submission was largely irrelevant as it dealt with matters before Mr Duterte became president," Bagares says. 

"Also the OTP (Office of the Prosecutor) itself said in its Dec 5 report said it consulted open sources in its preliminary examination so it is not limited to him. But definitely it will buoy up the confidence of all the President’s men," he adds. 

January 14, 2020 - 2:14pm

Lawyer Jude Sabio says he will withdraw his communication about extrajudicial killings filed before the International Criminal Court.

In a release, Sabio says "he did not approve what Trillanes and other LP personalities have resorted to aimed at besmirching the honor of the President."

The lawyer, who was assisted by Larry Gadon in a Quezon City court, has signed and sworn an affidavit and statement about his withdrawal.  

March 31, 2019 - 11:54am
Karapatan challenges the Duterte administration not to block efforts by the International Criminal Court and United Nations Independent Experts to probe human rights violations it reported if indeed human rights organizations are "merely spouting lies to defame the government."
"It is clear to us why there are very persistent efforts to undermine our work and discredit our organization. We are being singled out, harassed, and our work criminalized because of our advocacy to continuously expose human rights violations and initiate efforts and campaigns to hold the Philippine government accountable as the primary duty-bearer of human rights promotion and defense," Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay says in a statement.
Karapatan made the statement after a delegation called the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict made rounds in diplomatic missions in Europe. It said the delegation "maliciously" red-tagged several human rights organizations.
The European Union on Saturday said it would probe allegations that its aid were being funneled to Philippine communist guerrillas after the Philippine government asked for an investigation.
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