Marcos says Philippines is ‘done talking’ with ICC

President Ferdinand Marcos announced that the Philippines will no longer cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s probe into the drug war, asserting that the alleged crimes should be handled domestically.

The ICC resumed its inquiry despite the country’s withdrawal in 2019. Thousands have died in the anti-narcotics campaign under both Duterte and Marcos’ administrations.

Philippines’ Marcos signs US$9 bn wealth fund into law

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signs a law creating a US$9 billion sovereign wealth fund to stimulate economic growth and infrastructure spending, despite critics warning of potential misuse and public opposition. The fund, named the “Maharlika Investment Fund,” will draw funds from various sources, including the national government, gaming revenue, and private investments. Marcos assures transparency and prudent management of the fund.

Philippine court denies bail for Duterte critic: lawyer

Philippine human rights activist Leila de Lima was denied bail on the remaining drug trafficking charge against her. She has been detained for over six years and claims the charges were fabricated to silence her.

If convicted, she could face life in prison. The decision has been criticized as politically motivated. De Lima has faced health issues during her detention, but the judge ruled they were not compelling grounds for bail. She has been a vocal critic of President Duterte and his drug war.

‘We want to be free’: Filipinos demand right to divorce

Divorce is illegal in the Philippines, the only country outside the Vatican where it remains outlawed. Advocates argue that the ban makes it difficult for couples to escape violent relationships and remarry.

While couples can seek annulment or declare their marriage invalid, the process is slow, expensive, and often subject to government appeals. Efforts to legalize divorce have gained traction, but face opposition from the powerful Catholic Church.

Victims of fraudulent annulment services highlight the need for new legislation, as they seek alternative methods to end their marriages.

Philippine drug trafficking charge against Duterte critic dismissed

Philippine human rights campaigner Leila de Lima was acquitted on one of two drug trafficking charges, bringing her closer to freedom.

Supporters gathered outside the court, chanting for her release. Although she remains in jail, awaiting a judge’s decision on bail, the acquittal marks the “beginning of her vindication.”

De Lima, known for investigating extrajudicial killings, was arrested in 2017 on what many believe are fabricated charges in retaliation for her opposition to President Duterte’s drug war.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for her release.

Philippines ex-foreign minister who stood up to China dies at 83

Former Philippine foreign minister Albert del Rosario, known for standing up to Beijing in the South China Sea, has passed away at the age of 83.

Del Rosario served under Philippine President Benigno Aquino from 2011 to 2016 and was a fierce critic of China. He was behind two prominent legal cases against Beijing, including a 2013 case at an international tribunal that struck down China’s claims to most of the South China Sea.

China warns Philippine-US base deal ‘endangering regional peace’

China accused the US of endangering regional peace after it signed a deal with the Philippines allowing US troops to use four additional bases in the country, including one near the disputed South China Sea and another near Taiwan. The deal allows US forces to access a total of nine Philippine bases, in addition to storing defence equipment and supplies.

The US-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement aims to counter China’s increasing assertiveness over Taiwan and bases in the South China Sea.