Duterte unwilling to face prosecution in ICC: Roque

·Contributor
·2 min read
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Lisa Marie David)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his 6th State of the Nation Address (SONA), at the House of Representatives in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 26, 2021. (REUTERS/Lisa Marie David)

Former President Rodrigo Duterte, through his legal counsels, said that he will only face criminal prosecution if it’s in the Philippines, and that he’s unwilling for a foreign prosecutor to exercise jurisdiction over him.

“He has made his position very clear: Now that he is no longer president, he no longer has immunity from suit,” former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in ANC’s Headstart.

“All those who have grievances or complaints against him should file a criminal case before a Philippine prosecutor. If there’s a probable cause, he’s willing to face them but before a Philippine court,” Roque added.

Roque said that he met with Duterte, together with former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Solicitor General Menardo Guevara among many others, to discuss what Duterte’s posture would be given that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has resumed its investigation into his drug war.

Roque said that if the ICC will insist on its jurisdiction, Duterte will have no choice but to secure a restraining order from the Philippine courts.

“He will argue the Philippine courts are willing and able to prosecute these cases and therefore there’s no basis for foreign institutions to interfere and these are the consequences of a foreign country,” he said.

A week ago, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. consulted with his legal team as to what his administration’s stand would be on the issue of the ICC’s investigation of the Duterte administration’s drug war.

The ICC’s Pre-Trial 1 chamber has given the Philippines until September 8 this year to give its comment on the Office of the Prosecutor’s request to resume its probe.

On June 24, Prosecutor Karim Khan had filed before the pre-trial chamber an authorization to resume investigation, saying that, “I have concluded that the deferral request by the Philippines is not warranted and that the investigation should resume as quickly as possible.”

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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