Malacañang on Wednesday accused a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) of “playing politics” after releasing a report that allegedly found “reasonable basis” to believe that crimes against humanity were committed in the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
In an interview over radio, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque cited how ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a former Gambian justice minister, has been criticized for targeting African countries in her inquiries, and wants to show this time she can target another country in the Philippines.
“You know the truth is, Bensouda is really just politicking because she used to investigate her fellow Africans, so she made a way to say, ‘Oh, I’m investigating another country’,” he said in Filipino.
Roque also pointed out that besides the Philippines, powerful countries like the US, Russia, and China are not state parties to the Rome Statute, a treaty that created the international court on Nov. 1, 2011 and that the ICC could not open a preliminary investigation into countries that refuse to cooperate.
“So whatever happens, we will not help, we will not cooperate. And the ICC itself said, why will we push through with a trial in cases that we cannot win because the country involved does not cooperate,” he said in Filipino.
Roque said the Duterte administration would not allow Bensouda to use the Philippines as an “instrument” to her politicking.
“We have no obligation to cooperate because we’re no longer a member of the ICC,” he said.
Should the ICC prosecutor pursue preliminary investigation, Roque said it would be considered interfering with Philippine sovereignty.Duterte, he said, would simply ignore Bensouda’s efforts to pursue an investigation into drug-related killings in the country. SOVEREIGNPH