Philippines considers return to ‘fold’ of International Criminal Court

November 24, 2023 - 1:15 PM
An exterior view of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands, March 31, 2021. (Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo)

 The Philippines is considering resuming membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) nearly five years after it withdrew over objections to a bid by the court to investigate a bloody anti-narcotics campaign, the president said on Friday.

“There is also a question, should we return under the fold of the ICC, so that’s again under study. So we’ll just keep looking at it and see what our options are,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr told reporters.

The Philippines withdrew from the international tribunal in 2019 after then President Rodrigo Duterte questioned its authority to investigate the campaign against illegal drugs in which thousands of people were killed.

Marcos said questions over jurisdiction and sovereignty were still “problems” for the Philippines.

“Now if we can solve these problems, then that would be something else, but those questions are fundamental,” Marcos said.

The ICC this year rejected a Philippine appeal to stop investigating Duterte’s drug war. Marcos said in March he would cut off contact with the court after the decision.

In July, appeals judges at the ICC cleared the way for an investigation into the killings, a ruling that families of victims and right groups hailed as another step towards justice.

– Reporting by Mikhail Flores and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman, Robert Birsel