Global court regrets Philippine decision to leave

17 March, 2018, 01:55 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Duterte moves to quit Int’l Criminal Court

The mercurial former mayor had initially welcomed last month's announcement by the ICC of its preliminary examination into a complaint filed by a Philippine lawyer accusing Mr Duterte and top officials of crimes against humanity.

As tension grows, over criminal allegations concerning human rights abuses during the war drugs, the president maintains that he has neither committed genocide or any war crimes.

"In short, since the ICC has already commenced with proceedings regarding Pres. Duterte's war on drugs, it has the authority to proceed and the Philippine government has the obligation to cooperate with an investigation, regardless of the notice of withdrawal", he added.

It represents the first time in the ICC's history that it formally examined charges of mass atrocities against an incumbent Asian leader.

He said the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, had without any proof "pictured me as a ruthless violator of human rights" who was directly responsible for extrajudicial killings. Now it is backfiring on the Duterte administration.

Sabio accused Duterte of "repeatedly, unchangingly, and continuously" committing mass murder.

However, it is not yet clear if the President's press statements were also transmitted to the UN Secretary-General.

"What I'm afraid and what makes me sad is that the Philippine withdrawal, I'm sure, will start an avalanche of other states leaving the court because no one will tolerate an unaccountable prosecutor conducting even a preliminary examination in brazen violation of the principle of complementarity", he added.

The statute says withdrawal from the agreement takes effect a year after the United Nations secretary general receives a written request to leave.

More news: National Football League free agency 2018: Kirk Cousins reportedly to sign with Minnesota Vikings

"Duterte should be investigated", said Bishop Pabillo.

Rodrigo Duterte wears a bulletproof vest and a helmet as he gives a pep talk to troops on August 24, 2017.

The attempt to withdraw from the ICC, therefore, will not save anyone responsible for crimes against humanity from the ICC's jurisdiction, ICC argued.

Typically, Duterte has chosen a path of confrontation which will only deepen the country's worldwide isolation, especially in the West. Thus Manila has the right to withdraw "effective immediately". That includes in matters related to counterterrorism.

But still, the Duterte administration remains obstinate and truculent.

Lagman expressed fear that the worldwide community will lose trust in the Philippines "because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states". An estimated 7,000 people have been killed since he took office in 2016.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China can veto any resolution aimed against Duterte, likely in quid pro quo exchange for concessions vis-à-vis territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Duterte, who is under scrutiny by the worldwide court over his deadly war on drugs, claimed that there is a "concerted effort" to undermine his administration.

"The Philippines assures the community of nations that the Philippine Government continues to be guided by the rule of law embodied in its Constitution, which also enshrines the country's long-standing tradition of upholding human rights", it stated.

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