Malacañang confirmed Philippines withdrawal from International Criminal Court over Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda violation of the principle of complementarity.
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque did not deny feeling sad about the Philippines withdrawal from the Rome Statute or treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because he was among those who worked for it to be ratified during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.
However, he agrees with President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC treaty because, according to Roque, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda violated the principle of complementarity and made herself become a political tool against the Philippines.
He added it is also clear that ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines or the President because local courts are still working in the country.
“Wrong political move Madame prosecutor and I am addressing you, wherever you are. You just gave countries confirmation on why they should not become a member of the ICC. Because you have shown that you can exercise your power without accountability. You are to blame if the ICC will become part of history,” said the presidential spokesperson.
Roque also said that the Philippines withdrawal from the ICC treaty will give way to the possible decline of credibility of the ICC and no other country will be encouraged to ratify the Rome Statute.
“Remember, the Philippines’ withdrawal from ICC treaty has a great impact being not only in Asia but as well as in other parts of the world,” said the official.
Roque added that the statement of United Nations (UN) human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein against the Philippine president is a great deciding factor for the government.
“With the statement, the President is convinced that there must be some kind of a conspiracy on the part of pressure groups and UN officials to shame him,” said Roque.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and Vice President Leni Robredo believe the international community may lose trust in the Philippines.
“The international community will lose trust in the Philippines because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states,” said Lagman.
Robredo echoed the same sentiments saying, “Ano ba iyong implikasyon ng pag-alis natin, pag-withdraw? Iyong international perception sa ating bansa apektado. Pangalawa, nagiging questionable na iyong commitment natin sa international agreements. Pangatlo, ano ba iyong gusting sabihin nito pagdating sa human rights? Ayaw na ba natin mangako na ia-uphold natin ito.”
(What will be the implication of our withdrawal? The international perception on the country is affected. Secondly, our commitment to international agreements has become questionable. Thirdly, what does it say about human rights? Are we not anymore willing to promise to uphold it?)
These statements were abruptly rebutted by Malacañang.
“America is not a member of ICC. Does it have an effect on the image of America? None. Russia, also not a member of ICC. Does it have an effect? China, is there an effect? Again, there are 198 countries on this planet,” said the presidential spokesperson. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue