By Darryl John Esguerra

MANILA – Government officials and employees who will coordinate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) or participate in its investigation in the Philippines may be held liable, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday.

Department of Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano. (PNA fIle photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

In a Palace press briefing, DOJ Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Mico Clavano said government officials and personnel may be charged with violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for going against a “government policy.”

“As mentioned by the Solicitor General, this is a government policy. So, when a government officer or official is coordinating with the ICC against the direction or the orders and the policy of the government, there may be accountability involved,” Clavano said.

He said uniformed service personnel are also covered by the liability.

“If there’s any law enforcement or government official that goes against the policies and orders of the authorities in position, then obviously there will be some sort of conflict of interest, there will be accountabilities and definitely liabilities that go with it,” he said.

Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV recently claimed that the ICC have “directly communicated” with over 50 active and former officials of the Philippines National Police (PNP) in relation to its investigation on the alleged crimes against humanity under the drug war of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

The government has repeatedly said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the country after it withdrew from the ICC’s Rome Statute in 2019.

As to Trillanes’ remarks, Clavano said they have yet to receive information to support the former senator’s claims.

“We have not received the same information. So, just like everybody else, we only found out from Senator Trillanes about this supposed development,” he said.

“But, I think we’ve been consistent from the very start that we have a working justice system here in the Philippines evidenced by a lot of different cases and reforms that we have been undertaking – and the commitment has been stronger to prevent and to hold responsible and accountable those erring law enforcement officers who engaged in this heinous crime I would say of extrajudicial killings,” he added. (PNA)