Unstoppable Duterte: Senate can’t stop ICC withdrawal

In 2011, Philippines became a signatory of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and gained jurisdiction along with over a hundred-member states from across the globe through the United Nations Treaty known as the Rome Statute.
Its primary objectives are to investigate and prosecute perpetrators who are held liable in a large scale heinous crime including crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and crimes of aggression.
For the unbiased, ‘things have changed a lot lately’ and are clearly, slowly getting into shape since President Duterte came to power even if it includes having to quit the treaty underpinning the ICC.

President Duterte, in a statement on Wednesday, said: “I therefore declare and forthwith give notice... that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately”.

The basis of this decision comes after ‘baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks’ from the ICC itself while having an investigation on the President’s alleged extrajudicial killings amidst the War on Drugs.

To recall, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed a resolution that prohibits the Philippines from withdrawing to any existing treaty in February last year.

The resolution however, never made it to the Upper house of Congress despite 13 of the other Senators’ approval as a separate counter-resolution was quickly filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao in March 2017, who finds Drilon’s recommendation as ‘unconstitutional’ the concurrence it requires is only applicable upon entry of the treaty.

With the development of Senator Pacquiao’s resolution, Senate concurrence is no longer necessary to treaty withdrawals, according to Senate President Koko Pimentel.

“Itong Rome statute ratification way back in year, kay Senator Enrile pa ito na time, walang ganun (provision for Senate concurrence for withdrawal),” said Pimentel.

The Senate, therefore cannot stop President Duterte’s move to withdraw the Philippines from ICC, ultimately diminishing ICC’s jurisdiction with the country over its mandate.

The withdrawal shall officially take effect a year after the country notifies the ICC.


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Source: politics.com.ph

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