Palace bans International Criminal Court probers

March 18, 2019
Salvador Panelo

Int’l Criminal Court investigators will be violating Philippine sovereignty –– Malacañang spokesman.

THE Philippine government will not allow officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to enter the country as investigators, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said officials of the ICC could only enter the country as tourists.

Panelo issued the statement a day after the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC took effect.

“(They can come in) but as tourists,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.

“The Immigration officials have the discretion to deny new entry if they feel that what you will do here is against the law or you will just create disturbance,” he added.

The Palace official warned that ICC members who would come here as tourists but would conduct investigations would be deported.

“(We will) smile at them and tell them nicely, “You can’t do it here. If you persist, you will be deported because you will be violating certain (laws),” he said.

“Of course. You’re interfering with the sovereignty. Because when you try to subject a country to your jurisdiction, then you’re interfering with that country because we have our own courts here. We can prosecute anybody if we feel some violators or transgressors of the law,” he stressed.

Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said ICC members who would come to the country insisting on investigating the Chief Executive’s supposed crimes against humanity amid the war on drugs would be denied entry.

“I guess during the entry, they will be asked by the Immigration officials. That’s the standard. “Where is your…?” he said.

“If example, ‘We will be investigating.’ Then you will be denied by the immigration,” he added.