VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos’ about-face on Philippines’ membership to the ICC

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the Philippines has no intention of rejoining the International Criminal Court.

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. 08/01/2022 Flip-flop

Marcos was one of 17 senators who voted in Aug. 23, 2011 to ratify the Rome Statute, the treaty that founded the ICC.

(UPDATED) President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. voted for the entry of the Philippines into the International Criminal Court (ICC) when he was a senator in 2011. Now as head of state, he declared last Aug. 1 that the country will not rejoin the Netherlands-based court after withdrawing in 2018.

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In September 2021, the ICC proceedings progressed into an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs. However, the probe was temporarily suspended two months later on the government’s request to ICC prosecutor Karim Khan, successor of Fatou Bensouda, to defer to the state’s own investigation and proceedings.

But the government has failed to convince Khan to stop the investigation. On June 24, he requested the ICC pre-trial chamber to allow the resumption of the probe.

Pending its decision, the chamber invited on July 14 both the Philippine government and drug war victims to submit by Sept. 8 additional observations and comments on Khan’s request.

On Aug. 1, Marcos said his legal team will study the appropriate response or action on the chamber’s invite.

Para alam natin ang gagawin natin if we will respond, if we will not respond. Kung sakali man sasagot tayo, anong magiging sagot natin? Or possible din, basta hindi natin papansinin dahil hindi naman tayo sumasailalim sa kanila,” he said.

(So we know what to do, if we will respond, if we will not respond. If we do respond, what will it be? It is also possible [that] we will just ignore (the request) because we are not under their jurisdiction.)


Editor’s note: This article was updated on Aug. 9, 2022 to include the video fact check.


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Office of the Press Secretary official website, Media interview of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. during his visit to the Pasig City Sports Complex vaccination site for the PinasLakas Booster Vaccination Campaign (transcript), Aug. 1, 2022

Senate of the Philippines official website,  Senate Journal for Session No. 12, Aug. 23, 2011

Senate of the Philippines official website, 15th Congress – Senate Resolution No. 546 (pdf), Accessed Aug. 2, 2022

Senate of the Philippines official website, Press Release – PRIB: Senate approves ratification of Rome Statute on final reading, Aug. 23, 2011

United Nations official website, Philippines ratifies the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Aug. 30, 2011

United Nations official website, Notice of withdrawal to the Rome Statute of the Philippines, March 17, 2018

International Criminal Court official website, Information for victims (Republic of the Philippines), Accessed Aug. 4, 2022

International Criminal Court official website, Order inviting observations and victims’ views and concerns, July 14, 2022



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)