Official Press Statement: Denouncement on the ICC's call for investigation
The LCC NTF-ELCAC denounces the most recent decision of the ICC prosecutor to call for a full investigation against the Philippines’s sitting President for allegedly committing Crimes against Humanity, in pursuit of his campaign against illegal drugs.
If the ICC is to retain any vestige of legitimacy or semblance of authority, it must give way to a fundamental tenet of international law and which the Rome Statute itself embodies in its provisions: State Sovereignty.
It cannot deprive and preempt the Philippine State from conducting its own investigation and attempts at probing the alleged extra-judicial killings reported across its territory. It would go against the very idea of Justice to proceed with ICC charges without allowing the Philippine government first crack at these allegations. It effectively brands the ongoing investigations by Philippine authorities useless and futile. This will only expose the ICC investigation as an attempt by State Parties to the Rome Statute to politically strong-arm the Philippine government. Moreover, this will only serve to diminish, if it already has not, the ICC’s perceived impartiality as an international tribunal.
On the other hand, we support the President’s decision not to cooperate with investigation, given that the Philippines is no longer a State party to the Rome Statute, following its formal withdrawal from the treaty. The attributions against President Duterte for these purported extra-judicial killings are clearly unfounded and find no support in the facts and evidence.