Former Philippine President Vows to Resist Arrest by International Criminal Court

Former president Rodrigo Duterte. File Photo
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Former palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. has expressed alarm over recent reports that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant of arrest for former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. However, Roque believes that the international court will face challenges in apprehending the former leader, as Duterte has vowed to resist any attempts to arrest him.

Roque, who served as Duterte’s spokesperson, shared in a statement on Wednesday, “Based on intel, the former president informed me that he could be apprehended anytime. Unfazed, he vowed that the ICC would never get him alive.” Despite being 80 years old, Duterte remains determined to fight against any efforts to have him detained and prosecuted in The Hague for alleged crimes committed within Philippine territory. He insists on submitting himself only to the jurisdiction of domestic courts.

During his “Spox Hour” show, which was live-streamed on his Facebook page, Roque revealed that Duterte had contacted him, expressing concerns about his potential arrest. “I couldn’t sleep because [Duterte] called me up because he received information that he would be arrested any time,” Roque shared in Filipino.

Roque argues that the ICC has lost jurisdiction over human rights violations allegedly committed during Duterte’s war on drugs. He claims that this loss of jurisdiction occurred because the ICC failed to conduct a preliminary investigation before the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute. According to Roque, “Moreover, the cooperation duties of the withdrawing state are limited to the investigations and proceedings that commenced before the effectivity of the withdrawal, according to two ICC Appeals Chamber judges. Therefore, the Marcos administration has no obligation to cooperate with any ICC-related proceeding.”

Roque continues to appeal to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to issue a memorandum that prohibits all agencies of the executive branch from cooperating with the ICC. He believes that such cooperation would violate the sovereignty of the Philippines.

In July, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed the authorization to resume an investigation into Duterte’s war on drugs. However, both Marcos and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla have stated that the government will not cooperate with the international tribunal. Marcos Jr. emphasized, “I do not recognize the jurisdiction of [the] ICC in the Philippines. I consider it a threat to our sovereignty. The Philippine government will not lift a finger to help any investigation that the ICC conducts.” These statements were issued amidst reports that ICC representatives have entered the country.

The situation surrounding the ICC warrant for former president Duterte remains complex and contentious. While the international court seeks to hold him accountable for alleged crimes, Duterte and his supporters maintain that he should only be subject to the jurisdiction of domestic courts. As the legal battle unfolds, it is clear that this case will have significant implications for the Philippines’ relationship with the ICC and its stance on international justice.

It is important to note that the information provided in this article is based on statements made by Harry Roque Jr. and may not reflect the views of all parties involved. As the situation develops, it is crucial to follow official updates and statements from relevant authorities to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue.

Source: The Manila Times

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