SC ruling on ICC plea recognized limits of president’s power on foreign policy – Drilon

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2021   •   637

 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – The recent ruling of the Supreme Court on the petition against the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) showed that there are limitations to the president’s power with respect to foreign policy, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.

Drilon issued the remark after the SC dismissed the petition questioning the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pull out from the ICC.

“While the Supreme Court dismissed the petition questioning the validity of the Philippine government’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute for being moot and academic, the High Court acknowledged the limitations on the power of the President as the chief architect of foreign policy,” the senator said in a statement.

Drilon was among those who filed the petition along with other current and former senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The SC, in a press statement on Tuesday, said the magistrates voted unanimously to dismiss the petition for being moot and academic.

The Philippines formally withdrew from the Rome of Statue, which established the ICC, in March 2019.

“The decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statutes,” the SC Public Information Office said.

“Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law which authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

For Drilon, the high court’s decision is “a clear recognition of the limitations of the power of the President with respect to foreign policy.”

“Most striking is the acknowledgment that the power of the President to withdraw ‘unilaterally’ can be subject to limitations by the Senate,” he said.

“It is a highly interesting decision and I will await the full text before I comment more extensively,” he added.

Malacañang earlier welcomed the SC decision.

Duterte ordered the country’s withdrawal from the ICC after it opened a preliminary examination on the ongoing drug war in the Philippines following reports of extrajudicial killings during police anti-narcotics operations.

Pangulong Duterte, gumamit lang ng matapang na pananalita para hikayatin ang publiko na magpabakuna — DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Naniniwala ang Department of Justice (DOJ) na gumamit lamang ng mabigat na pananalita si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang hikayatin ang mga taong ayaw pa ring magpabakuna kontra COVID-19.

Sa public address noong Lunes ng gabi, nagbanta ang pangulo na ipaaaresto ang mga taong tumatangging magpabakuna matapos nitong magpahayag ng pagkainis sa mga ayaw makinig sa panagawan ng pamahalaan upang makamit ang herd immunity sa lalong madaling panahon.

“I believe that the President merely used strong words to drive home the need for us to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity as soon as possible,” ang pahayag ni Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Sinabi rin ni Guevarra na bilang abugado, alam ng pangulo na ang hindi pagpapabakuna ay karapatan ng sinoman.

“As a lawyer, he knows that not getting vaccinated is a legal choice,” ayon sa kalihim.

Sinabi rin ni Guevarra na sa ngayon ay wala pang batas o legal na batayan sa bansa na mag-oobliga sa isang tao na magpabakuna laban sa COVID-19.

“There is no law as yet that compels vaccination against COID-19, much less criminalizes it, as presently available vaccines are still in their trial phases,” ang wika ng kalihim.

Nilinaw din ng DOJ chief na humihingi rin sa kanya ng payong legal si Pangulong Duterte kung kinakailangan.

“He seeks my legal opinion only when he finds it really necessary,” ani Guevarra.

Sa public address ng pangulo, iginiit nitong kailangang magpabakuna ng lahat upang magkaroon ng proteksyon laban sa mas mababagsik na uri ng COVID-19 gaya ng Delta variant na unang natuklasan sa bansang India.

Ngunit kung ayaw pa rin ng ilan na magpabakuna ay mapipilitan aniya siyang gumawa ng paraan upang mahanap ang mga taong nagmamatigas pa rin laban sa pagtanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Binatikos naman ng National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) ang pahayag ng pangulo at iginiit na walang malinaw na legal na basehan ang pagpapa-aresto sa mga ayaw magpabakuna.

Sinabi rin ni NUPL President Atty. Edre Olalia na maaaring banggain ng pangulo ang kapangyarihan ng hudikatura na may karapatng mag-utos ng pagpapa-aresto kung may matibay na batayan.

“Ang problema dito parang magbabanggaan, paano kung sasabihin ng korte ganito sabihin ng executive ayaw ko e di magkakabanggaan yan so magkakaroon ng sana wag naman ang tinatawag na contitutional na krisis kasi sino ang magreresolba ngayon kung ang dalawang sangay ay magbabanggaan,” ani Olalia.

Nangangamba rin ang NUPL na magdulot lang ng kalituhan o takot ang pahayag ng pangulo kapag hindi ito lubos na naunawaan ng publiko. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Dante Amento)

Duterte slams proposed ICC probe anew

Maris Federez   •   June 22, 2021

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on June 21, 2021. JOEY DALUMPINES/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte once again stressed his stance against the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Why would I defend or face an accusation before white people? You must be crazy. Mga colonizers ito noon (They were colonizers in the past) and they have not atoned for their sins against the countries that they invaded, including the Philippines,” Duterte said.

The president maintained that he will just face a Philippine court in front of a Filipino judge.

“They are trying to set up a court outside our country and making us liable to face them. Our laws are different. Our criminal procedure is different. How are you supposed to get justice there?” the President said. “I will readily face a court, being accused in a Philippine court before a Filipino judge.”

Duterte made this statement after Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año reported during a pre-taped meeting with the president the status of the government’s anti-illegal drug operations.

In his report, Año enumerated the arrests made by authorities which include high-profile individuals and the number of those killed during their operations.

This, the President said, is what the ICC does not understand.

“If you do not move against them, it will destroy our country. Narco-politics ito eh,” Duterte said, adding that such has been eradicated after several mayors were killed during anti-drug operations.

“We’re not saying that we are killing them. We kill them because they fight back,” he said.

Last June 15, outgoing ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda requested that the court conduct an investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Duterte administration in its war on drugs. —/mbmf

Duterte threatens to arrest people who refuse to get COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   June 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to apprehend people who refuse to get inoculated against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

During his weekly “Talk to the People” address, Duterte said people should heed the government’s call to get vaccinated and protect themselves against the coronavirus disease.

“Don’t get me wrong, there is a crisis being faced in this country, there is a national emergency.  Kung ayaw mong magpabakuna ipaaresto kita, at ang bakuna itusok ko sa puwet mo,” he said.

“Don’t force my hand into it… Strong-arm method yan eh. Walang may gusto niyan pero kung hindi kayo magpabakuna, umalis kayo sa Pilipinas. Go to India if you want or somewhere, to America.  But as long as you are here and you are a human being who can carry the virus, magpabakuna ka,” he added.

But if people continue to refuse to get inoculated, Duterte said he will order local governments to find those who have yet to receive their vaccine jabs.

“Otherwise, I will order all the barangay captains to have a tally of all the people who refuse to be vaccinated. ‘Pag hindi, ‘yung ivermectin na para sa baboy ang patira ko sa’yo,” he said.

The president did not say whether he will make good on his threat and what basis will he use for such an order as he admitted to feeling exasperated with reports about people refusing to get protected against COVID-19.

“I’m not… I’m just exasperated with Filipinos na not heeding the government. Tutal tayo dito, wala naman tayong hangarin kundi ang kabutihan ng ating bayan,” he said.

“I will think it over very hard — legally of course. Pero kapag ayaw ninyo, ipa-aresto ko kayo. That is in pursuance to a policy of a crisis of a health issue,” he said.

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