Why senatorial aspirant Gibo Teodoro opposes ICC probe in PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2022 01:20 PM

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MANILA - Senatorial aspirant Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro on Monday said he opposes an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the domestic affairs of the Philippines.

Teodoro, a former secretary of the Department of National Defense, was asked if he would support the international body's investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during the Duterte administration's war on drugs. 

"I was always against the ICC because that means that your own institutions are weak and are not strong enough and you will allow another body to investigate happenings within your own country," he told ANC's Headstart.

"I’d rather strengthen our own institutions rather than have the ICC come in to the country," he said.

Teodoro claimed that "a lot of countries have not joined the ICC and only the weak countries are the ones subject to it."

According to its website, 123 countries are states parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France, and Germany. 

The Philippines was party to the Rome Statute since 2016, but President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing from the international tribunal in March 2018, a month after a prosecutor said the ICC was opening a preliminary examination on his drug war. The withdrawal took effect a year after.

However, under the ICC's mechanism, the court keeps jurisdiction over crimes committed during the membership period of the state. 

Judges at the ICC approved a formal investigation into the war on drugs on September, but the tribunal suspended this in November following a request by the Philippines, citing its own investigations.