By Wilnard Bacelonia
MANILA — A lawmaker called the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) insistence to investigate the Duterte administration’s war on drugs a diversion that is “necessary to prop up the false image of Western nations as the unimpeachable protectors of human rights.”
Senator Imee Marcos said in a statement on Friday that the ICC chooses to prosecute third world countries but fails to take notice of the wrongdoings of the West.
“Picking on African nations and other ‘low-hanging fruit’ like the Philippines is easier for the ICC. The perpetual circus of putting leaders of less developed countries on trial seeks to divert the world’s attention from the crimes against humanity committed by the West,” said Marcos.
The lawmaker cited as an example the 2003 war on Iraq which she said “was pursued by Western powers, based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction and in violation of resolutions by the United Nations.”
“More than a million Iraqi soldiers and civilians were killed and displaced by that horrible war. Selective justice, anyone,” Marcos asked.
“This month marks the 20th year of the ICC’s failure to bring those responsible to account. The West’s oft-invoked cliché about upholding an ‘international rules-based order’ is apparently a sham,” she added.
Human rights, Marcos pointed out, is just being used by the West as “pressure points” or “bargaining chips” to serve “Western neo-colonialism’s intertwined political, economic, and military agenda.”
She also noted that nine out of 10 ASEAN nations have either withheld or withdrawn their membership in the ICC because they do not trust it.
The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights is eyeing to conduct a series of hearings to discuss the ICC’s move to proceed with its investigation on the war on drugs in response to Senate Resolution Nos. 492 and 488 filed by Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Robinhood Padilla, respectively.
“I still have to study the need for other resource persons. I’m thinking of having a resource person coming from the ICC itself kung papayag sila kahit [via] Zoom sila (if they will allow even [via] Zoom),” committee chair Senator Francis Tolentino said in a previous interview.
The committee would start reaching out to the ICC within the week to ask if the international body would be willing to attend the Senate proceedings, most probably to start after the Holy Week.
In another statement, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s decision to fully “disengage” with the ICC “should be the last nail in the coffin” in the court’s attempts to “meddle” in Philippine affairs.
Lauding the President’s decision, Revilla expressed support for the government’s anti-drug efforts since the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, with Senator Ronald Dela Rosa as the chief of the Philippine National Police.
“Foreign interests should never be allowed to dictate how we run our affairs,” Revilla said, emphasizing that Filipinos are accountable only to the country’s laws and no one else.
“We have a functioning system, and the last thing we want is for misguided parties to meddle and impose themselves on us,” he added. (PNA)