Despite survey showing Filipinos back ICC probe, Marcos won’t support investigation

BenarNews staff
Despite survey showing Filipinos back ICC probe, Marcos won’t support investigation Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to reporters at the Malacañang palace in Manila, Nov. 3, 2023.
Aaron Favila/Pool/AFP

Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday put a stop to public speculation that he would help the International Criminal Court investigate predecessor Rodrigo Duterte over thousands of deaths related to his adminstration’s drug war, despite their rift.

When reporters asked him to comment on a new survey showing that 55% were in favor of government cooperation with the ICC, Marcos replied that the court based in The Hague had no jurisdiction in the Philippines. The survey was published over the weekend by OCTA Research, an independent firm based in Manila.

“It opens Pandora’s box because it’s still those questions of jurisdictions and sovereignty that I haven’t yet seen a sufficient answer for,” Marcos said on the sidelines of a cultural awards ceremony in Manila. “That seems to be the only logical conclusion that you can come to in that situation.

They can produce as much evidence as they want, but they cannot act upon it in the Philippines. That’s the point,” he said. 

Marcos said ICC investigators could visit as often as they want because “we’re not a closed country.” 

His statement followed a public spat with former President Duterte, who had accused him last month of being a drug addict without offering any proof. Marcos fired back, saying that his predecessor’s use of the opioid fentanyl might have affected the way he had been acting.

More than 8,000 suspected drug addicts and dealers were killed by police and vigilantes during Duterte’s term in office (2016 to 2022), according to government figures. 

In public engagements and speeches as president, Duterte, now 78, encouraged police officers to kill suspects, and promised them protection from prosecution. He urged raiding officers to shoot first rather than be killed.  

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Protesters march in support of drug war victim Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, during his funeral in suburban Caloocan city, Philippines, Aug. 26, 2017. [Bullit Marquez/AP]

One notorious case saw three police officers convicted of killing a teenager, shooting him while he begged for mercy. It later turned out that student Kian Loyd delos Santos, 17, was mistakenly identified as a drug addict. His death galvanized opposition to Duterte’s drug war. 

While running for president in 2022, Marcos persuaded Duterte’s daughter, Sara, to drop her own campaign and be his vice-presidential running mate.

Since taking office, the Marcos-Duterte alliance has shown cracks with the president doing away with his predecessor’s policies, including the drug war and Duterte’s pro-China stance. Instead, Marcos re-embraced U.S. support over China in a dispute over the South China Sea. 

Last month, both men held rival public rallies in which Duterte openly cursed Marcos as a “son of a bitch” and openly accused him of being high on illegal drugs.

While in office, Duterte often used the same tactic against critics and opponents. He read out names in public of rival politicians whom he publicly accused of drugs and other crimes without offering any proof.

One of them was his arch-critic, Leila de Lima. Duterte’s government filed a series of trumped up charges against the former senator who was freed on bail in November 2023 who had been detained for six years. 

During her incarceration, two of the three cases were dismissed after government witnesses recanted statements against her.


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