VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Panelo repeats wrong claim that ICC has ‘no jurisdiction’ to probe Duterte’s drug war


(UPDATED) For at least the second time, senatorial candidate Salvador Panelo repeated a wrong claim that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has “no jurisdiction” to investigate alleged crimes against humanity associated with President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Watch this video:


The Supreme Court holds the same position on the issue.

In a March 16, 2021 decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on a petition filed by opposition senators who protested the unilateral withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute, the high court noted that:

“…withdrawal from the Rome Statute does not affect the liabilities of individuals charged  before the International Criminal Court for acts committed up to this date (March 17, 2019).”

Source: Supreme Court E-Library, G.R. No. 238775, March 21, 2021

VERA Files Fact Check flagged a similar claim of Panelo in 2021 when he cited a “requirement” for the Rome Statute to be published in the Official Gazette for the treaty to be in effect. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Panelo makes wrong, misleading claims on ICC jurisdiction, basis of drug war probe)

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 28, 2022 to include the video fact check.

Have you seen any dubious claims, photos, memes, or online posts that you want us to verify? Fill out this reader request form or send it to VERA, the truth bot on Viber.

Check out these sources


ANC 24/7 Official Youtube Channel, Headstart: PH Senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo | ANC, April 7, 2022

ANC 24/7 Official Youtube Channel, Panelo: Accusations against president over human rights violations in drug war absolutely not true, April 7, 2022

International Criminal Court, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Accessed April 7, 2022

International Criminal Court, PRE-TRIAL CHAMBER 1: Decision on the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation of an investigation pursuant to Article 15(3) of the Statute (p. 38), Sept. 15, 2021

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Palace confirms PH withdrawal from ICC over prosecutor’s violation of complementarity rule, March 15, 2018

Supreme Court E-Library, G.R. No. 238775, March 21, 2021

Official Gazette, Executive Order 459, Jan. 9, 1998

(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.)