The Philippines on Thursday asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to deny its prosecutor’s office’s request to resume the probe on former President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, Solicitor General (SolGen) Menardo Guevarra said.

Guevarra, the justice secretary under Duterte, said the Philippine government reasserted its stance that the ICC had no jurisdiction over the situation in the Philippines.

“The alleged murder incidents…do not constitute “crimes against humanity,” considering that said incidents do not qualify as an attack against the civilian population,” read a statement from Guevarra’s office.

The SolGen also argued that the occurrences “were not in furtherance of a state or organizational policy to commit such attack.”

Additionally, the Philippine government argued that complaints filed before the ICC were already being investigated by proper agencies.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in August decided to keep the Philippines out of the ICC, saying the country already had an ongoing investigation on alleged abuses under Duterte.

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 ICC suspended its investigation upon the request of the Philippine government in November 2021.

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