55% of Filipinos favor gov’t cooperation with ICC probe — survey

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
55% of Filipinos favor gov�t cooperation with ICC probe � survey
A relative of a victim of an extra-judicial killing attends a memorial mass ahead of All Soul's Day to remember loved ones slain in the government's war on drugs, at the Commission on Human Rights in Manila on Oct. 29, 2021.
AFP / Jam Sta. Rosa

MANILA, Philippines — More than half of Filipinos believe that the government should cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into killings under the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs,” according to a survey by OCTA Research. 

Results of the poll released Sunday showed that 55% of adult Filipinos are in favor of the government cooperating with the probe into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the previous administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. 

Meanwhile, 45% are opposed to cooperating with the investigation of The Hague-based tribunal.

In January, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC and will not cooperate with the probe. 

“Across different major areas, the percentage of adult Filipinos who favor this idea ranges from 42% to 65%. The highest support is in Balance Luzon (65%), while the lowest is in Mindanao (42%),” OCTA Research said.

It noted that Bicol region recorded the highest approval for cooperation with 79%, while Davao region, former president Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, had the lowest support with only 6%.

Support for government cooperation with the ICC investigation was highest among those aged 75 and over (67%) and lowest among those aged 35 to 44 (50%).

“In terms of gender, the percentage of adult Filipinos who are in favor of this idea is almost the same for both females (56%) and males (55%),” it added. 

The poll was conducted from December 10 to 14 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults, with a margin of error of ±3% for national percentages and ±6% for regional breakdowns.

Rejoining ICC

The OCTA Research survey also suggested that 59% of adult Filipinos are in favor of rejoining the ICC, while 41% oppose the move. 

In 2019, the Philippines officially withdrew from the ICC, a year after Duterte announced the country would leave the court. Despite this, the tribunal still has jurisdiction over crimes committed while the country was a state party. 

According to the OCTA survey, the highest support for rejoining the ICC came from Balance Luzon, or Luzon areas outside Metro Manila, with 65%. Mindanao, meanwhile, showed the least support with 51%. 

Across regions, the highest support was observed in Northern Mindanao with 92%, while the lowest support was recorded in Davao region with 10%. 

“Regarding socioeconomic classes, the percentage of adult Filipinos who favor the Philippines rejoining the ICC as a member ranges from 58% to 67%, with the highest support from Filipinos belonging to Class ABC (67%),” OCTA said, adding that opposition to the idea was highest among those in Class D at 42%. 

Set up in 2002 to probe the world’s worst crimes, the ICC is a “court of last resort” and steps in and exercises jurisdiction only if countries are unwilling or unable to prosecute offenders.

When it authorized the inquiry in January 2023, the court noted that the Philippines’ initiatives to reexamine drug war killings did “not amount to tangible, concrete and progressive investigative steps.”

Official figures report over 6,000 people killed during the Duterte administration's “war on drugs.” However, human rights groups estimate that the true toll may be as high as 30,000, 


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