Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Monday claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was a vehicle for political agenda and not a genuine body for justice as he dismissed anew its plan to investigate the country’s drug war deaths.

In an interview with reports, Remulla said the Philippines would not “bow down” to the ICC’s “political agenda.”

“It is not just a body for justice but it is meant to forward a political agenda for many people…We are a country with a legal system that can function by itself and they want to take over some of our functions just to criticize the way we run our country before,” he said.

“If they want to put into themselves the judicial powers of this country then they will be committing a violation of our legal system. Just a fair warning: do not monkey around with our legal system,” he added.

Last month, the ICC pre-trial chamber granted the request of the ICC prosecutor’s office to resume its probe on former president Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, which was suspended in November 2021 upon the request of the Philippine government.

Like the Duterte administration, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has been asserting that the court did not have jurisdiction over the situation in the Philippines.

“I do not see what [ICC’s] jurisdiction is. I feel that we have in our police and our judiciary a good system. We do not need assistance from any outside entity,” Marcos Jr. said over the weekend.

The ICC in September 2021 greenlit a probe as there was “reasonable basis” to believe that a crime against humanity had been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of Duterte’s deadly campaign against drugs.

The Philippines pulled out from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019, after it launched a preliminary examination of Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. John Ezekiel J. Hirro