ICC probe 'interference' in PH internal affairs

If Presidential lawyer Juan Ponce Enrile is to be followed, he will not allow the entry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the country and will order the arrest of its investigators.

Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile delivers his remarks during a meeting with President Duterte and several Cabinet members in Malacañang on May 17, 2021 (Malacañang)

Enrile, the presidential chief legal counsel, tagged the ICC's resumption of the investigation on the reported killings due to the Duterte administration's war on drugs as interfering in the Philippine internal affairs.

"As lawyer of the President, I will not allow, as far as I am concerned, I will not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. They have no sovereign power over us," Enrile said on the sidelines of the Philippine Development Plan Forum in Pasay City on Monday, Jan. 30.

"If they will come here, if I were to be followed, I will cause their arrest. Because that is a...they interfere too much in our internal affairs," he added.

The former senator stressed that there is no need for the ICC to step in on the country's handling of the war on drugs killings as "we do not have an uncivilized judicial system."

He also revealed that the issue on the ICC is a "non issue" for the President, adding that it is not being brought up between his conversation with the chief executive.

In August last year, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. declared that the Philippines has no intention in rejoining the ICC, saying that the investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice is already enough. He has not talked about the issue since then.