MANILA (UPDATE)- President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said the Philippines will finally "disengage from any contact and communication" with the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it rejected the country's appeal to suspend its drug war probe.
In its decision dated March 27, the ICC appeals chamber said that the Philippines failed to cite "persuasive reasons" to support its request to temporarily put off the resumption of the probe.
When asked by Palace reporters though what the government's move would be after the latest development, Marcos said the appeal "ends all our involvement with the ICC."
"We don't have the next move... Hindi na tayo puwede mag-appeal. The appeal has failed and in argue, there is nothing more that we can do," Marcos said.
The President insisted that the permanent court does not have any jurisdiction over the Philippines.
"We ended up with the position that we started with: we cannot cooperate with the ICC considering there are very serious questions about their jurisdiction and about what we consider to be interference and practically attacks on the sovereignty of the republic,” he said.
“So that’s pretty much it. We have no longer any recourse when it comes to the ICC,” he said.
It was confirmed by Solicitor-General Menardo Guevarra that the country's appeal is still pending. What has been denied was the request for suspensive effect, similar to a prayer for a temporary restraining order.
But the President clarified that while the Philippines has written and filed an appeal to the chamber, the country has “not been involved with the actual action.”
“Merely as a comment, we would comment, and the appeal is part of a comment but we have not appeared as a party in the ICC,” Marcos Jr. said.
“We don’t recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC,” he said.
KARAPATAN BLASTS MARCOS' 'INTRANSIGENCE'
In a statement, rights group Karapatan criticized the President for his "intransigence," saying it showed the government's "empty platitudes and rhetoric before the international community."
"It is becoming increasingly evident that Marcos Jr. has no intentions of exacting justice and accountability from the perpetrators and in fact, maintains the same policies and the same climate of impunity that had led Duterte and his minions to get away with murder," the statement read.
Earlier this year, former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile — now Marcos Jr.’s chief legal counsel — said that he would recommend to the President to arrest of ICC investigators who will travel to the Philippines to conduct an investigation.
The ICC in January authorized the resumption of its investigation into the drug war and the Davao Death Squad killings in the Philippines.
Government data showed that 6,181 people were killed in Duterte's war on drugs but human rights groups have questioned the figure, claiming that up to 30,000 may have been killed, including bystanders and innocent civilians.