ICC slammed for 'turning blind eye' to Western nations' violations of human rights
A Philippines lawmaker on Friday slammed the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “turning a blind eye on the human rights excesses of Western nations,” calling it a “caricature of international justice.”
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Senator Imee Marcos, 67, said: “The ICC's long-standing failure to investigate Western nations for countless crimes against humanity makes the court a caricature of international justice.”
Her comments came just days after the Philippines announced its intention to disengage with the ICC after it rejected Manila's appeal to suspend an investigation into its so-called war on drugs.”
Marcos, the chairwoman of the country's Senate Foreign Relations Committee, claimed in a statement published on the GMA News website that the ICC is targeting Southeast Asian and African countries while "turning a blind eye on the human rights excesses of Western nations."
“Human rights issues are openly used as pressure points and as bargaining chips to serve western neo-colonialism’s intertwined political, economic, and military agenda,” said the senator, who is the older sister of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“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,” Marcos said, who is serving as senator since 2019, citing the ICC’s failure to investigate the 2003 war on Iraq.
She said the war pursued by Western powers was “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?” she asked.
“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. This diversion is necessary to prop up the false image of Western nations as the unimpeachable protectors of human rights,” Marcos said. Manila’s war on drugs
President Marcos said early this week that his government has reached "the level of its involvement with the ICC.”
Manila cannot cooperate with the ICC due to concerns about jurisdiction and “attacks on the country’s sovereignty," Marcos had said.
On Monday, the ICC rejected the Philippines’ plea to suspend a probe into the country’s so-called “war on drugs,” ruling that Manila has not presented “persuasive reasons” to seek the suspension.
“In the absence of persuasive reasons in support of ordering suspensive effect, the Appeals Chamber rejects the request. This is without prejudice to its eventual decision on the merits of the Philippines’ appeal against the Impugned Decision,” said the ICC in an eight-page decision released Monday night.
The Philippines had early this month asked the ICC to suspend a probe into the country's so-called war on drugs.
“The prosecution’s activities in furtherance of its investigations would lack any legal foundation and encroach on the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines,” Manila's top prosecutor said in a 51-page appeal to the ICC.
The ICC resumed its investigation into the controversial drug war launched by former Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte in January, arguing that it was "not satisfied that the Philippines is undertaking relevant investigations that would warrant a deferral of the court's investigations on the basis of the complementarity principle."
The Philippines Office of the Solicitor General, however, had asked the ICC tribunal's Appeals Chamber to suspend the investigation until the resolution of its submission and to rule that the court's prosecution was not authorized to resume its probe.
In 2018, Duterte announced that his country would withdraw from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, effective March 2019. However, the court said it "retains jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes that occurred on the territory of the Philippines while it was a state party."
In Sept. 2021, the ICC opened a probe into alleged crimes against humanity committed from Nov. 1, 2011, to March 16, 2019, during the war on drugs.
However, it halted the probe on Nov. 18, 2021, after Manila raised objections.
However, the ICC prosecutor requested that the investigations be reopened on June 24, 2022.
Duterte has said he "would never allow foreigners to sit in judgment of him as long as Philippine courts are willing and able to do so."