Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla inaccurately claimed that no other country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Remulla made the false statement during a Jan. 27 press conference when he was asked if the Marcos administration is discussing the possibility of having the Philippines rejoin the Netherlands-based tribunal. He repeated the false statement in a separate interview on GMA-7’s The Mangahas Interviews on Jan. 28.
Watch this video:
Duterte’s order came a month after former ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda launched a preliminary examination into the alleged killings and other crimes related to his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
In August 2022, Duterte’s successor, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., declared that the Philippines will not rejoin the ICC. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos’ about-face on Philippines’ membership to the ICC)
On Jan. 26, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber granted the request of the court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, to resume the investigation into alleged crimes against humanity, such as murder and enforced disappearances, that occurred in the Duterte administration’s drug war from July 1, 2016 to March 16, 2019.
The probe also covers the killings in Davao region perpetrated mainly by vigilante groups such as the so-called “Davao Death Squad” from November 2011 to June 2016. Duterte served as mayor of Davao City from 1988 to 1998, 2001 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016.
The investigation began in September 2021 but was temporarily suspended two months later upon the request of the Philippine government to Khan to defer to local procedures.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on Feb. 6, 2023 to include the video fact check.
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ANC official YouTube channel, LOOK: DOJ holds press conference as ICC allows resumption of PH drug war probe | ANC, Jan. 27, 2023
International Criminal Court official website, ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I authorises Prosecutor to resume investigation in the Philippines, Jan. 26, 2023
International Criminal Court official website, Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on opening Preliminary Examinations into the situations in the Philippines and in Venezuela, Feb. 8, 2018
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) official website, ASEAN member states, Accessed Jan. 30, 2023
International Criminal Court official website, Asia-Pacific States, Accessed Jan. 30, 2023
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) official website, ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Application of Timor-Leste for ASEAN Membership, Nov. 11, 2023
Davao City government official website, Mayor’s Gallery – City Government of Davao, Accessed Jan. 30, 2023
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia official website, Cambodia’s flag, Accessed Feb. 1, 2023
United States State department official website, Timor-Leste’s flag, Accessed Feb. 1, 2023
United Nations Treaty Collection official website, Photo of Cambodia representative depositing the ratification documents of the Rome Statute, April 11, 2002
United Nations Treaty Collection official website, Photo of Timor-Leste representative depositing the ratification documents of the Rome Statute, Sept. 6, 2002
United Nations Treaty Collection official website, Notice of withdrawal to the ICC of the Philippines, March 17, 2018
RTVMalacanang official YouTube channel, Commencement Exercises of the PMA ‘ALAB TALA’ Class of 2018 (Speech), March 18, 2018
RTVMalacanang official YouTube channel, PBBM’s Press Conference 8/1/2022, Aug. 1, 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.)