Arroyo: ICC cannot judge Duterte

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2023 06:53 PM

MANILA -- Former President now House Senior Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said Friday that her House Resolution 780 was filed in the spirit of asserting that the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot pass judgment on former President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an ambush interview in Pampanga, Arroyo came to the defense of Duterte, who has been the subject of criticism and a possible ICC investigation for his war on drugs.

"Una sa lahat yung problema ng illegal drugs ay problema ng bansa kaya ang bansa ang hahanap ng solusyon. Yun nga sinabi ni Sec. Remuilla okay naman makipag-dialogue sa ICC pero di pwede sila maghuhusga di sila pwede ang magdidikta ang maghuhusga taongbayang Pilipino. Iyun ang spirit ng resolution at di naman tayo member ng ICC at di lang tayo ang di member ng ICC pati US nga di member ng ICC eh. Kaya sabi nga ni CPLC Enrile kung siya di raw niya kikilalanin ang jurisidiction ng ICC," Arroyo told media.

When asked about all the criticisms against her resolution, Arroyo merely said she respects their opinion.

Arroyo gave the interview at the sidelines of a public consultation on Charter change in Pampanga. 

Earlier in the day she witnessed the oathtaking of members of Lakas CMD in Davao Region with Vice President Sara Duterte.

Arroyo and 18 other lawmakers have filed House Resolution 780 urging the "unequivocal defense" of Duterte from a possible investigation of the International Criminal Court.

The lawmakers want the House of Representatives of the 19th Congress to rally behind the former President. 

The other lawmakers are Reps. Carmelo Lazatin, Jr., Aurelio Gonzales, Anna York Bondoc-Sagum, Jose Alvarez, Mary Mitzi Cajayon-Uy, Richard Gomez, Wilton Kho, Loreto Amante, Edward Hagedorn, Edwin Olivarez, Eric Martinez, Eduardo Rama, Jr., Dale Corvera, Zaldy Villa, Ma. Rene Ann Lourdes Matibag, Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo, Johnny Pimentel and Marilyn Primicias-Agabas. 

The resolution said Duterte's presidency ushered "remarkable accomplishments brought about by his relentless campaign against illegal drugs, insurgency, separatism and terrorism, corruption in government and criminality thus making the life of every Filipino better, comfortable and peaceful."

HR 780 also said the country’s peace and order situation considerably improved due to the Duterte administration’s holistic and whole nation approach in ending insurgency and curbing the drug menace in the country which purportedly resulted in growth in exports and investment.

HR 780 also said the Philippines has a functioning and independent judicial system, quoting Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla who called the ICC’s intent to resume its investigation against Duterte’s anti-drug campaign as “insulting” and “totally unacceptable."