MANILA–Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque on Wednesday said the case to be filed against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is doomed to fail.
In a statement, Roque cited the principle of complementarity which states that Philippine courts have primary jurisdiction in any complaint for crimes against humanity.
Roque further explained that the ICC as a “court of last resort” will only exercise jurisdiction when Philippine courts are unwilling or unable to do so.
“It (ICC) was intended to complement, not replace, national courts in ending the gravest crimes against the international community,” Roque said.
“The present threats to have President Duterte indicted in the ICC are not simply political threats against him and his campaign against drugs and criminality –they are also threats that question Philippine sovereignty,” he added.
Roque said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is already conducting its own investigation on the matter
Roque expressed doubt that the administration’s relentless drug war would qualify as a crime against humanity.
“Primarily, to constitute a crime against humanity, it must be shown that there are acts of murder, persecution, or other prohibited acts, committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population,” Roque said.
Roque said he does not see the drug war as a “systematic plan to kill drug personalities”.
“The fact that over a million people, including drug surrenderers, have been peacefully placed under the jurisdiction of the State shows that the primary intention has always been simply to end the propagation of illegal drugs in the country,” Roque said.