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SC urged to reverse Duterte order pulling country out of ICC

/ 06:50 AM June 14, 2018

Another group has asked the Supreme Court to reverse President Rodrigo Duterte’s order last March 17 withdrawing the country’s membership from the International Criminal Court (ICC), and to compel him to let the Senate decide whether to leave the ICC.

The Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) claimed that the President abused his discretion and violated the constitutional system of checks and balances in treaty-making by unilaterally withdrawing from the treaty that established the ICC.

‘Whimsical’ order

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The group also said the President’s order was based on “capricious, whimsical, ridiculous, misleading or misled, incoherent and/or patently false grounds, with no basis in fact, law or jurisprudence.”

The PCICC, represented by 11 members led by founding chair and former Commission on Human Rights Chair Etta Rosales and cochair Aurora Parong, asked the Supreme Court to order Malacañang to recall the notice of withdrawal submitted to the UN secretary general.

The Senate in 2011 ratified the Rome Statute, which established the ICC to try crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes.

Bloody war on drugs

The President, however, ordered the country’s withdrawal after an ICC prosecutor began a preliminary examination of a complaint for crimes against humanity against him over his administration war on drugs.

Six opposition senators asked the high court on May 16 to invalidate the President’s order since it did not have the approval of two-thirds of the Senate.

But the Palace on Wednesday said the high court “must defer matters on foreign affairs” to the executive.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President was “the chief architect of the country’s foreign policy” and that the Constitution made “no mention that concurrence of the Senate is necessary to validate the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC.” With a report from Christine O. Avendaño

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TAGS: Aurora Parong, Etta Rosales, ICC, International Criminal Court, PCICC, Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Rodrigo Duterte, Supreme Court
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