PNP supports gov’t stand on ICC ruling

July 24, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 222 views

THE Philippine National Police headed by General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. yesterday expressed its full support to the Marcos administration’s call for the International Criminal Court to respect the country’s sovereignty and stop dipping its hands into our justice system.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said he is keeping his stance to end dealings with the ICC after the tribunal rejected the country’s plea to block the resumption of the investigation into reported drug killings during the previous Duterte administration.

“The PNP fully supports our national leaders’ call for the ICC to respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and allow our national institutions to address legal matters through our independent judicial system,” said PNP Public Information Office chief Brigadier Gen. Redrico A. Maranan.

“Regarding our actions, the PNP has diligently fulfilled all requirements of the Philippine judicial system. We have cooperated by submitting the PNP Units and personnel while providing records for investigation before the Department of Justice, which handled cases against some accused police personnel.

“This is the same well-functioning judicial system that rendered judgment on some police personnel found guilty of irregular conduct and abuses in performing their functions during anti-illegal drug operations,” Brig. Gen. Maranan added.

The official maintained that the criminal justice system in the country is fully working as proven by the arrest and conviction of those who have been accused of wrongdoings in the past, whether they are members of the uniformed service or not.

“Our nation’s judicial system is effective and efficient, ensuring that at all times justice is served to those who have violated the law and that the rights of both the accused and the victims are protected as enshrined in our Constitution.

“The PNP remains confident in the capacity of our Justice System to handle any legal challenges and reaffirms its dedication to upholding the rule of law in the Philippines,” he stressed.

With the PNP and the Department of Justice fully supporting the President’s decision, chances are already nil that the ICC will be getting the full cooperation of the police force and the DOJ in its effort to investigate deaths recorded during the war on drugs declared by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The judicial system in the country requires the PNP to investigate homicide or murder cases, conduct a background check on the victims, gather the testimonies of witnesses and tap the assistance of SOCO teams from its Forensic Group before submitting their recommendation to the concerned prosecutor’s offices.

In turn, the prosecutor’s office will be the one to recommend the actual filing of criminal charges in court based on determination of facts and sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of a case. In the absence of those elements, a case will not prosper.

Officials said without the cooperation of the government, the ICC investigation will be biased considering the fact that they will only rely on statements from the families of the supposed victims and their supporters which include critics of the government particularly those from the Left and the opposition.

President Marcos said his government will continue to defend the sovereignty of the Philippines and will continue to question the jurisdiction of the ICC in their investigations here in the country.

“We have no appeals pending. We have no more actions being taken. So, I suppose that puts an end to our dealings with the ICC,” the President said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla Jr. echoed the President’s aversion to the ICC.

“May katapusan ang lahat, lalong-lalo na yung ganitong relasyon na hindi naman nakakabuti sa atin. Kung hindi nila igagalang yung ating sovereignty, kung di nila igagalang ang ating kalayaan, ang ating pagiging isang bansa, marahil mas mabuti na lang na huwag na tayong sumapi sa isang samahan na nais pakialam ang pagpatatakbo ng sarili nating gobyerno,” Remulla said.