Palace: PHL gov’ t to deny entry to ICC investigators if they pursue probe of drug war

(Eagle News)–The Palace on Monday, March 18, said the Philippine government would deny International Criminal Court investigators entry into the country should they decide to pursue their probe into the drug war.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it was either it denied their visas or deported them if they were already in the country on tourist visas.

“The Immigration officials have the discretion to deny you entry if they feel na ang gagawin mo rito eh either labag sa batas o manggugulo ka lang dito,” Panelo said.

Panelo’s statement was similar to the United States’ after the ICC said it would investigate US abuses committed by US forces or allies in Afghanistan.

The Palace had said the Rome Statute, which creates the ICC, never took effect in the Philippines as it was never published in a publication of general circulation, nor was it published in the Official Gazette, as required of any law for it to take effect.

Citing the principle of complementarity, it added the ICC can only investigate allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes if the courts in the country could no longer do so.

The Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became final on Sunday, March 18, a year after the Southeast Asian country informed the United Nations of its decision.