MANILA - Presidential aspirant and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday he did not see the need for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines.
In an interview with Boy Abunda, Marcos Jr. said the Philippines has a working judicial system, and that it is "perfectly capable" of investigating alleged crimes committed in President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs.
"I do not see the need for a foreigner to come and do the job for us, and do the job for our judicial system," he said.
Marcos Jr. also questioned the ICC's jurisdiction over the Philippines, asking if an investigation in the country would be a violation of Manila's sovereign rights.
The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber in August 2021 gave its green light for the ICC Prosecutor to conduct a formal probe on the drug war killings in the Philippines, but suspended its probe in November as it assessed the country's request for a deferral of the investigation.
Other presidential aspirants like Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson and Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso have expressed openness to a potential ICC investigation.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. has shrugged off the numbers reported by Amnesty International on human rights abuses during his father's martial law rule.
“I do not know how they (AI) generated those numbers, and I haven’t seen them," Marcos said.
Figures from Amnesty International say during the late dictator's regime, there were 72,000 incarcerations, 34,000 documented tortures, and over 3,200 extrajudicial killings. Abunda enumerated the numbers to Marcos during the interview.
“Let us ask Amnesty International to share the information, and maybe it will help us make sure that the system works and what alleged abuses occurred should not occur again. I think that is the only way we can remedy that situation,” Marcos Jr. said.
The former senator has been hesitant to answer questions related to martial law, or which he calls "issues that happened 35 years ago."
- With reports by Jacque Manabat and Mico Abarro, ABS-CBN News.