Metro Manila, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Monday the Philippines will not rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The decision came after Marcos met last week with the top lawyers and officials of his administration to discuss their strategy on the ICC’s investigation of the Philippines.

Local investigations into former President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign are already ongoing, according to Marcos, as he questioned the need to resume the international court’s probe.

“Ang sinasabi naman namin, may imbestigasyon naman dito. Patuloy naman and imbestigasyon bakit magkakaroon ng ganoon,” Marcos said during the PinasLakas booster event in Pasig City.

[Translation: What we are saying is that there is an investigation here. The investigation is ongoing, why would there be such a thing]

Marcos said he also instructed Cabinet members to carefully study necessary procedures to prevent being misinterpreted by the ICC.

“The ICC is a very different kind of a court. Sinabi ko pagaralan muna yung procedure para tama yung gagawin natin… baka mamisinterpret yung ating ginagawa kaya liwanagin muna natin ang ating gagawin,” he stressed.

[Translation: The ICC is a very different kind of court. I said, study the procedure first so that we do the right thing… they may interpret what we are doing so let’s first clarify what we are going to do]

Marcos said he met with Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra and Justice Secretary Boying Remulla, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, and lawyer Harry Roque who attended as a private counsel.

Last month, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan requested the resumption of investigation into Duterte’s anti-drug campaign after it was put on hold following a deferral request from the Philippine government.

The ICC previously said it retains jurisdiction over alleged crimes committed while the country was still a member of the tribunal. The Philippines’ withdrawal from the court took effect in March 2019.