Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed Senate Resolution No. 867, urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s administration to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its investigation into the drug war under former President Rodrigo Duterte's regime. This move comes in the wake of similar resolutions filed in the House, marking a significant step towards potential justice for the victims of the notorious drug war.
Scope of ICC's Jurisdiction
The resolution underlines the retained jurisdiction of the ICC over drug-related killings that took place while the Philippines was still a member of the Rome Statute, despite Duterte's withdrawal from it in 2018. It cites a 2021 Supreme Court decision which states that the Philippine government’s departure does not diminish the ICC’s jurisdiction to continue a probe that began while the country was still party to the Statute.
Presidential Stance and Reactions
President Marcos has shown signs of a softened stance on the ICC, suggesting that the government will consider rejoining the Rome Statute. Despite this, he raised sovereignty-related queries regarding the ICC’s jurisdiction. On the other hand, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, one of the respondents in the ICC cases, expressed his displeasure at the resolution and voiced doubts about its success in the Senate.
Push for Justice
Senator Hontiveros's resolution has been seen as a beacon of hope for the families of Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, Reynaldo 'Kulot' de Guzman, and thousands more who are seeking justice for human rights violations during the Duterte administration's drug war. Several crimes against humanity were filed by victims’ families against Duterte and implementers of the drug war, alleging that state forces committed mass murder and gross human rights violations.