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Restoring the Country’s Dignity Before the ICC

On January 26, 2023, the Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court authorized the resumption of the investigation on the crimes against humanity committed during the deadly war against drugs of former President Rodrigo Duterte. It will be recalled that based on the complementarity principle in international law, which leaves the primary competence and authority to investigate and prosecute crimes to the State, the Philippines has stopped the ICC from proceeding with its investigation of the situation in the country, through former Justice Secretary Menardo Guevara. However, the ICC’s Chamber is not satisfied that the proceedings of the Philippine government would warrant this deferral based on documents submitted for its consideration.

The decision of Mr. Marcos, Jr on this issue is crucial to restoring the country’s dignity before this International body. Before the Philippines’ withdrawal of its membership to the ICC in 2018 by then President Duterte, Filipino legal luminaries like former UP Law Dean Raul Pangalanan (who served as a judge in the International Court) and the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago (endorsed by the Member States to serve as a judge) have given us a place of honor in the ICC. We lost this in the whimsical arbitrariness of Duterte’s decision to turn our back on our covenant before this court. Mr Marcos Jr’s cooperation is just as crucial to vindicating the dignity of those trampled upon and violated by the impunity of Duterte’s bloody drug war.

As Edmund Burke says in his famous quote, will Mr. Marcos “act as a real statesman, or as a pretender”?


“The rule is quite simple, if a state desires to bring positive change into the society, then it has to change itself by sowing the seeds of responsibility, character, and grace.”

-Qamar Rafiq


“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.”

- John 10


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