10 0 0 4 weeks ago 5 min to read

Estrada: ICC meddling violates Philippine sovereignty

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On Tuesday, Senator Jinggoy Estrada claimed that the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) move to look into former President Rodrigo Duterte violated both the Rome Statute and the country’s sovereignty.

In Senate Resolution No. 492, which Estrada filed on Monday, the Philippine government asserts that its institutions are fully operational and more than able to address the issues raised by ICC Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan QC, which the government formally communicated to the ICC in a letter dated November 10, 2021.

“My stance on this subject was based on the complementarity principle of the Rome Statute, which acknowledges a State’s right to exercise jurisdiction over the majority of severe crimes of international concern. The International Criminal Court will only get involved if that State is unable or unwilling to look into and punish the crime, according to the complementarity principle, Estrada said in a statement.

Estrada stated that even though the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, the ICC is arguing that it still has jurisdiction over alleged crimes that took place there while the nation was still a State Party.

“I want to be clear that when I voted to concur with the adoption of the Rome Statute around 12 years ago, I did not change my view. With our nation’s withdrawal from the Statute on March 17, 2018, my position, if I may qualify it, may already be moot and academic, he remarked.

He continued by saying that four criminal cases had been filed with the courts as a result of the joint investigation conducted by the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service into the alleged crimes allegedly committed between July 1, 2016, and March 16, 2019, while the so-called “war on drugs” campaign was in effect.

‘Malinaw na pinapairal natin ang pagpapatupad ng batas at tinutugis ng mga kinauukulan ang mga indibidwal na napag-alamang may mga paglabag o pagkakasala,’ said the speaker. Clearly, we are applying the law and going after those who have broken it. That is why anumang panghihimasok ng ICC sa hurisdiksyon ng ating gobyerno ay maituturing na paglapastangan sa soberanya ng Pilipinas. Our sovereignty has been clearly violated by the ICC’s meddling in our government’s jurisdiction, according to Estrada.

Senator Robinhood “Robin” C. Padilla submitted a similar resolution in an effort to shield former president Rodrigo Duterte from ICC investigation or prosecution.

In Senate Resolution 488, Padilla stated that “we have a functioning and independent” legal system and vowed, “to announce unambiguous support of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, in any inquiry or prosecution by the ICC.”

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