CLAIM: The Philippines is being targeted by the International Criminal Court in its drug war investigation

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra may have been airing his views on the International Criminal Court’s investigation into the previous government’s war on drugs in a recent TV interview, but his underlying premise – that the court’s probe may be targeting the Philippines – is false.

In a March 28, 2023 interview with Karen Davila on the ABS-CBN News Channel, Guevarra said: “The last straw was the denial of our request for suspensive effect. So, parang we see a pattern. Parang right from the beginning up to the very end, parang there is an intention on the part of the ICC na tuluyan talaga ang Pilipinas (to target the Philippines).” 

Guevarra, who was justice secretary under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte, was reacting to the ICC’s rejection of the government’s request to suspend the probe.

The ICC, however, targets individuals in cases where it has jurisdiction, not countries.

In its 2020 publication, “Understanding the ICC,” it states: “The ICC prosecutes individuals, not groups or States. Any individual who is alleged to have committed crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC may be brought before the ICC.”

“In fact, the Office of the Prosecutor’s prosecutorial policy is to focus on those who, having regard to the evidence gathered, bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes, and does not take into account any official position that may be held by the alleged perpetrators,” it says in response to Question No. 12 on page 14.

The American Bar Association has also explained that the ICC can only investigate and prosecute “individual persons,” and cannot investigate or prosecute governments, political parties, rebel movements, and even an entire country. Luis Gregorio, Micah Pascua, and Marianna Terese Castro


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FACT-CHECK: US has no military bases in the Philippines

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