MANILA - Happy and at the same time afraid. This was how International Criminal Court (ICC) complainant Llore Pasco described her emotions after hearing the news that the ICC is pursuing its investigation on the drug war of Duterte administration.
Two of her sons died in May 2017 in Quezon City after they were tagged as robbery holdup suspects.
“Nangholdap daw sila hanggang sa pinaghahabol ng pulis hanggang sa inabutan sila at pinagbabaril. Sa crime noong una litrato may baril sila... ang pinakamasakit pa doon, 'yung anak kong bunso kaliwete pero 'yung baril nakalagay sa kanang bahagi ng kamay,” she said.
Pasco did not file any case in the local courts; instead, she went to the ICC.
And now that the ICC probe resumed, she is asking President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to reconsider his position.
“Kami, bilang mga magulang, kapatid at asawa ng mga pinaslang, gusto namin iparating sa kanila na dapat kilalanin nila ang ICC bilang isang korte, at 'wag silang mangamba dahil lalabas at lalabas din naman ang katotohanan,” she added.
In a statement released by the Presidential Communications Office, the Marcos administration said it supports the stand of the Department of Justice.
The Marcos administration also insisted that the ICC should let the Philippines resolve the Duterte administration’s war on drugs issue under the country's justice system.
Former dean of the UP College of Law, Atty. Pacifico Agabin said he agrees with the stand of DOJ that the sovereign rights of the country are at stake if the ICC pursues its investigation with the Philippines.
But more than the sovereign rights, Agabin explained that the country should also focus on the victims of the drug war.
The Makabayan bloc of the House of Representatives urged Marcos to reconsider the government's position on the ICC probe.
ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said, "that the ICC investigation should be seen as supplementary to the shortcomings of the Philippine justice system and should not be seen as an intrusion or meddling in our affairs."
"The justice secretary should realize this and not hinder the ICC investigation, as this may also be construed that they are covering up for someone or hiding something,” Castro added.
Meanwhile, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said he also disagreed with the position of the administration.
"The Philippines, as a legitimate member of the world community, must accede to the jurisdiction of the prosecutors of the ICC with respect to former President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs... the principle of complementarity, which respects the jurisdiction of national courts, cannot be invoked by the Philippines because no less than the alleged principal culprit, former President Duterte, has not been investigated by local authorities nor charged in Philippine courts even as other major reported offenders have eluded justice with impunity,“ said Lagman.
Senate Minority Leader Koko Pimentel for his part said the country should cooperate as we are a responsible member of the world community of nations.
"The investigation can even result in a finding that there has been no violation of the Rome Statute or any international humanitarian law. And the investigation should be limited to the time period when PH was still a member of the ICC.”