Marcos: PH's criminal, justice system is functioning fully

At a glance

  • President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the country has been vigorously investigating and prosecuting heinous crimes, including illegal drug-related cases

  • He said the Philippines’ commitment to fight impunity for atrocity crimes is solid and unwavering

  • (Photo: Noel Pabalate/Manila Bulletin)

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has stated that the rule of law prevails in the Philippines, stressing that its criminal and justice system is functioning fully.

Speaking at the plenary session of the Second Session for Summit for Democracy on Wednesday, March 29, Marcos said the country has been vigorously investigating and prosecuting heinous crimes, including illegal drug-related cases.

“We continue to improve mechanisms such as the AO35 inter-agency committee to enhance accountability. The Philippines’ commitment to fight impunity for atrocity crimes is solid and unwavering, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute,” Marcos said in a video message during the summit.

“The Philippines has a national legislation punishing heinous crimes. We have vigorously exercised our jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes, including those allegedly committed in the context of the anti-illegal drugs campaign,” he added.

The President told summit participants that the government is investing more to enhance the administration of justice through the various institutions and mechanisms already in place, as well as to protect the right to life, liberty and security of the Filipino people.

He cited the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) to protect and promote the rights of more than 10 million Filipino migrants.

He further said that the administration is also strengthening well-established accountability mechanisms and policies to protect women and children, stressing that the nation’s justice reform agenda acknowledges that real justice means the humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty and efficient prosecution of criminal cases.

Marcos said the administration is pouring resources and energy into improving the processes in the investigation of cases and the witness protection program.

According to him, the government continues to focus on strengthening state programs on rehabilitation, prevention, education and assistance to drug victims and their families as well as ensuring transparency and accountability on law enforcement operations.

He noted that so far, the Joint Program on Human Rights (UNJP) launched by the government with the United Nations (UN) in 2021, has shown significant progress in fostering consensus building and collaborative partnership in a broad range of target areas.

PH as an active player on democracy, human rights dialogues

The Philippines will continue being an active player on dialogues tackling various issues as long these are constructive, based on facts, and back the country’s interests, Marcos also stated.

“The Philippines will continue to engage countries bilaterally and in international platforms on issues concerning democracy, human rights, and good governance, as long as these engagements are constructive, based on facts, and respectful of Philippine sovereignty,” he said.

He stressed that the country "will sustain its tradition of open, constructive, and active engagement" on human rights and on matters that will meaningfully contribute towards reinforcing the sinews of democracy and of freedom.

"Thus, we enable our people to flourish and meet our national aspirations to be a modern prosperous middle-income society by 2040,” he said.

Marcos also thanked President Joe Biden and the United States (US) government for convening the Second Summit for Democracy, along with co-host countries Costa Rica, South Korea, The Netherlands, and Zambia.

He said the summit “affirms the solidarity of nations bound by values of democracy and sends a powerful message of our collective will to bring about the best of peoples and societies empowered by freedom".