ICC saga

“Holding to account the Marcos-Duterte alliance isn’t some fanciful concoction.
ICC saga

Surprisingly, rollicking and chatty Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa managed to be absolutely right last week.

Had he not been right, we wouldn't have spared serious thoughts other than our usual that he is good only for eliciting giggles.

But he has proven that he isn't catatonically insensible to the truth of the tattered cliché that in politics, there are no permanent friends, only permanent interests.

"If the (proposal) is just under study, then it does not cause us alarm," he began, "(But) I should be ready for any eventuality because the political situation in the Philippines is very fluid. So, I have to be ready."

Dela Rosa's discomfort, of course, ensues from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s weighty turnaround, pronouncing that proposals for the country to rejoin the International Criminal Court were "under study."

Dela Rosa has germane personal reasons to keep his stubby finger on the political pulse regarding the ICC.

He, after all, is considered the enforcer of the Duterte administration's bloody anti-narcotics crackdown when he was PNP chief. A role for which he now faces an ICC investigation.

But Dela Rosa, wondering aloud about the uncertainty of his situation having to do with shifting political moods, tellingly testifies to what the Greeks call "anagnorisis," the sudden piercing recognition of the truth of a situation.

And, in the case of Dela Rosa's wrenching self-understanding of the truth of his situation, it means he sufficiently recognizes where actual political power presently resides and that he needs to adroitly sense where that actual power wants to go.

How Dela Rosa and those similarly facing the ICC investigation confront where the actual political power wants to go — who is supposed to be their ally but is now suddenly not giving cast-iron assurances of their political or personal survival — will certainly fill some time in our local political scene.

Thus, how everything pans out lies on how credibly firm the Marcos-Duterte alliance will hold.

Holding to account the Marcos-Duterte alliance isn't some fanciful concoction. The President's statement on the ICC last week indisputably comes amid the backdrop of growing speculation that there's a widening rift in the Marcos-Duterte alliance.

Both the Marcos and Duterte camps, however, are momentarily keeping up appearances of the "UniTeam," dishing the rift rumors as mere magical thinking of giddy minds speculating that for one party, the alliance has outlived its political usefulness. 

Nonetheless, giddy minds do have something to feed on daily.

It was only nine months ago, for instance, that it was heretical for alliance members in Congress to act insensitively on the ICC issue.

Last February, in fact, at least 19 legislators backed a proposed resolution to declare an "unequivocal defense" of Duterte "in any investigation and/or prosecution by the ICC."

But to date, there are three pending House resolutions, including by administration allies, openly calling on government agencies to cooperate with the ICC.

Such resolutions are being amplified and are gaining traction in the Lower House.

The Chief Executive hasn't helped in dousing speculations or rumors either.

After speaking firmly against it four months ago, his unmistakable empathy for the ICC last week potentially exposes his predecessor to an investigation into his bloody war on drugs, thereby straining further their alliance. 

Even so, Mr. Duterte's allies deflect Marcos's comments and insist that they reinforce their position that the ICC is intruding into Philippine sovereignty.

Yet, the President's evolving ICC drift can't be dismissed outright.

Even before Marcos spoke, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla prepared the groundwork by departing from his standard tough responses to the ICC, openly saying that recommendations to cooperate with the ICC need further study. 

Meanwhile, those who have waited long enough for the tide to turn to hold Duterte to account for the bloody war on drugs are rightly expressing due caution, clearly wanting to see Marcos do more. 

And so, the political pirouettes and somersaults over the ICC continue. Abangan.

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