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‘States non-parties’ may help ICC probe, arrests, says spokesperson

“States non-parties” may cooperate with the International Criminal Court in its investigation and even in the arrest of those charged before the tribunal, a spokesperson for the ICC has said.

Asked about the court’s processes including those if a warrants of arrest is issued, Fadi El Abdallah said, “Whether a country is a member or not of the ICC, citizens of this country may be suspects before the ICC if the jurisdiction conditions are met.”

“States parties have the obligation to cooperate with the ICC, but States non-parties may voluntarily cooperate as well, including to assist the Court with the implementation of arrest warrants,” Abdallah told GMA Integrated News in an email.

“If a suspect is arrested and surrendered to the ICC, the suspect is placed in detention at the ICC detention center in the Netherlands and pre-trial proceedings and hearings will then be held before the ICC judges,” he added.

The international court is currently investigating the alleged crimes against humanity committed under the drug war of the Duterte administration. 

Amid claims that ICC investigators have already entered the country despite the Philippines’ leaving the tribunal, the public information office of the ICC prosecutor in an earlier email said it would continue to seek justice for the victims of the drug war. 

Part of this effort, the office said, is to dialogue with the Philippine government and relevant stakeholders.

“Protecting the confidentiality of our work is crucial, to ensure the safety of all those the Office interacts with and to protect the integrity of our operations,” the ICC office said.

“Therefore, the Office does not comment on operational matters with respect to ongoing investigations. We are unable to confirm or deny any information contained in your request,” it added.

Amid reports that ICC investigators have entered the country, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said that he considered the ICC a threat to Philippine sovereignty.

He said he did not recognize the court’s jurisdiction over the country.

“Let me say this for the 100th time, I do not recognize the jurisdiction of ICC in the Philippines. I do not, I find, I consider it as a threat to our sovereignty,” Marcos said.

“Therefore, the Philippine government will not lift a finger to help any investigation that the ICC conducts,” he added.

Marcos’ remarks came after Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s call Monday that Malacañang should disclose if it allowed ICC investigators into the country

Also on Monday, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed to have information that ICC probers arrived in the country last December and that a warrant is expected to be issued soon against former President Rodrigo Duterte and other respondents in connection with the tribunal’s probe on the Philippines’ “war on drugs.”

The former lawmaker said that the ICC probers were able to conduct interviews with concerned individuals.

To recall, the President said in February last year that he would not cooperate with the ICC investigation into the alleged abuses committed under the Duterte administration’s drug war.

The following month, Dela Rosa, who had earlier tagged himself as the “number 2 accused” in the ICC investigation, claimed that Marcos promised that the ICC would not be able to touch him. —NB, GMA Integrated News

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