THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT’S continued rejection of the International Criminal Court (ICC) probe of its deadly drug war could deter other countries from pursuing economic partnerships with the Philippines, according to experts.
“If most incumbent government officials have negative international press, the assumption is it deters confidence from international trading partners,” Hansley A. Juliano, a political economy researcher studying at Japan’s Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development in Japan, said in a Facebook Messenger chat.
The ICC in January reopened its probe of former President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs, saying it was not satisfied with the government’s efforts to probe human rights abuses.
The Hague-based tribunal on March 28 rejected the Philippine government’s plea to suspend the probe into the deadly drug war.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has called the ICC’s probe a threat to Philippine sovereignty, saying the it does not have authority to look into the reported human rights abuses.
Mr. Duterte had canceled the Philippines’ membership in the tribunal in 2018. Mr. Marcos said the Philippines would not rejoin the ICC, saying the Philippines has a functioning justice system.
“(Mr. Marcos’) rejection of further cooperation with the ICC will expose him as an unreliable economic partner, interested only in exacting economic benefits while rejecting values deemed important by various international partners,” Terry L. Ridon, a public investment analyst and convenor of think tank InfraWatch PH, said in a Facebook Messenger chat.
He said other economic partners may see the President’s commitment to the rule of law and human rights as mere lip service, in light of country’s non-participation in the ICC probe.
Mr. Ridon said the Philippines is at risk of losing its trade perks under the European Union’s (EU) Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+).
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