‘We’re doing our mandate’ — OSG

What we’re trying to show here is we’re doing what we need to do — our duty, our mandate, we’re doing it. They should wait for the results.

September 10, 2022

The Office of the Solicitor General said the International Criminal Court should wait for the results of ongoing investigations into the drug war killings, a day after the government declared it had no jurisdiction over the Philippines.

The OSG, which will represent the country in any ICC proceeding, said the country is conducting its own investigations as under the principle of complementarity, the international court should give priority to domestic probes.

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra said that even if a case had been filed, there should be no expectation that a conviction will just be handed down “tomorrow or the day after.”

“What we’re trying to show here is we’re doing what we need to do — our duty, our mandate, we’re doing it. They should wait for the results. We’re doing this investigation genuinely,” Guevarra said.

The SolGen’s statement was issued after his office asked the ICC pre-trial chamber to deny the request of ICC prosecutor Karim Khan to restart the probe into the country’s anti-narcotics campaign that killed thousands of people.

He reiterated the country’s judicial system “is functioning” despite few cases reaching courts, as this is how the legal and judicial system in the country works.

He added ICC should respect the country’s sovereignty, warning that its prosecutors setting foot in the country could be seen as an indictment of its judicial system.

He said if the ICC prosecutors come and in the event they say they have jurisdiction, that is an indictment not only against certain officials of the country, it’s an indictment of the Philippine judicial and legal system.

He added, that in effect, “They’re saying you are not functioning — you’re not worth it.”

Guevarra said during his talks with President Marcos, along with other officials and lawyers, “We decided that as representative of the Republic, there should be no better representative than the Office of the Solicitor General.”

He disclosed the ICC has already given the Philippine government a list of accredited lawyers that it can hire.

“We took a look at that list and we found certain lawyers who can possibly help us,” Guevarra said.

However, he noted it was determined that “we can do it because, better than any foreign counsel, we know what is happening in the Philippines.”

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