PNP, PDEA to cooperate with ICC if okayed by Malacanang, officials say
Police and other anti-drug government agencies are ready to cooperate with the International Criminal Court handling the complaint of crimes against humanity against President Rodrigo Duterte provided Malacanang would give its nod, official said on Tuesday.
The stance of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was a turn around from their previous pronouncement that they would cooperate with the ICC, without any condition, if they would be asked.
"On the part of the PNP, we will. Provided, there will be an approval from the higher office - in this case, the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) or Malacanang. But just the same, a process should also be observed," said PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao in a joint press briefing in Malacanang.
PDEA spokesman Director Derrick Arnold Carreon said this was also the stance of his office. "Same answer with PDEA," he said.
The ICC has said it will continue with its preliminary examination of the complaint against Duterte despite the Philippines' withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.
Duterte, who ordered the country's withdrawal from the Statute, has said the Philippines' action was effective immediately as he insisted the treaty was not binding due to lack of publication, a requirement in the domestic law.
But under Article 127 of the Rome Statute, a "state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute."
"Its withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective," the Statute further read.
A Filipino lawyer, with the backing of two opposition lawmakers, filed on May 2017 a complaint against Duterte for the alleged crimes against humanity due to thousands individuals who have been killed in the government's war on drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS