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ICC help not needed in probing drug war – OSG

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
ICC help not needed in probing drug war â OSG
Noting how there was already nothing the government can do to change ICC prosecutor Karim Khan’s mind about investigating the Philippine situation, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said the Philippines is instead currently waiting for the ICC pre-trial chamber (PTC) to decide whether the probe will resume or not before the Marcos administration makes another move.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Marcos administration has opted to sit out the counterarguments of the International Criminal Court’s prosecutors against the Philippines’ attempt to stop the investigation into the drug war killings during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said yesterday, adding that they would instead wait for the ICC’s decision.

Noting how there was already nothing the government can do to change ICC prosecutor Karim Khan’s mind about investigating the Philippine situation, Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said the Philippines is instead currently waiting for the ICC pre-trial chamber (PTC) to decide whether the probe will resume or not before the Marcos administration makes another move.

“(Khan) didn’t state anything new and right from the start, his mindset is fixed on resuming the investigation of the Philippine situation that’s why we opted to not reply anymore and simply wait for the resolution of the PTC of the ICC,” Guevarra said in an interview aired over radio station dzBB.

“Why do you have to interfere with our investigations that we are doing? You may not be happy with the results so far, but it doesn’t mean that our judicial and legal system is not functioning. We don’t need you,” he added, addressing ICC prosecutors.

ICC prosecutors on Sept. 22 rejected the Philippine government’s submission to the PTC, which argued the ICC’s lack of jurisdiction over the Philippines, the drug war’s inadmissibility of account of the Rome Statute’s Article 17 and the complementarity principle in international law.

ICC prosecutors, led by Khan, an international criminal law expert, said the Philippines’ submission last Sept. 8, which was penned by the OSG and supplied with evidence by the Department of Justice, fell short of providing strong arguments to stop the investigation on the Philippines.

Khan said these arguments are not backed by strong evidence that could boost the ICC’s confidence that the Philippines can resolve the alleged crimes against humanity on its own as the government and its investigating agencies failed to demonstrate in its Sept. 8 submission “past or ongoing national proceedings that could match” the looming ICC investigation.

Guevarra reiterated the Marcos administration’s position on Khan’s skepticism against the government’s capability to conduct a proper investigation into the drug war killings, saying the national investigations are ongoing and that they were gathering more witnesses.    

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