MANILA — Presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Thursday said he is in favor of Philippines rejoining the Rome Statute, amid its probe on the controversial drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking to reporters via Zoom, Lacson said the International Criminal Court (ICC), empowers the powerless, adding that he would consult with his foreign policy advisers on the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a member of the ICC again.
"The answer is yes kasi diyan na tayo nagsimula. Kailangan ikonsulta sa ating foreign policy managers or advisers. But ang initial reaction ko is yes. Kasi iyan ang court para sa mga powerless," he said.
The Philippines severed ties with the ICC after Duterte ordered the country's withdrawal from the Rome Statute following communications filed before the chamber to probe into his bloody anti-narcotics program that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Lacson’s VP running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that their tandem plans to address the problem of illegal drugs holistically, saying the Duterte administration has focused too much on law enforcement and not on prevention and rehabilitation.
Lacson and Sotto recounted their meeting with some members of the Diplomatic corps Wednesday night.
"They (the ambassadors) agree if not all, most agree to what I was explaining when the issue of EJK was mentioned. I explained to them that prevention and rehabilitation is more effective in addressing the problem of drug abuse than the present dispensation’s emphasis on enforcement and prosecution," Sotto explained.
Lacson said the group of 15 diplomats they met with included ambassadors from the European Union, Australia, and South Korea.
Sotto said the conversation also revolved around pending bills and laws Congress has passed, adding that the meeting gave them a platform to explain why they have decided to run for executive positions after many years serving in the legislative branch.