Koko backs PH withdrawal from ICC, hits ‘non-sense’ case vs Duterte
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III backed on Wednesday the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute as he lamented the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) handling of what he branded as “non-sense” charges filed before it against President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Rome Statute is a treaty that established the ICC, and the Philippines signed it on Aug. 23, 2011.
“Yeah, if I were President baka ginawa ko rin yun e. Kasi imagine sinong nagrereklamo? Tapos ano ‘yung mga alegasyon? Hindi ba ito domestic policy?” Pimentel told Senate reporters when asked if supports the withdrawal.
(If I were President I would have done the same thing. Because imagine, who are complaining? What are the allegations? Isn’t this a domestic policy?)
“This is law enforcement. Sa mata ng Presidente noong nagkakampanya pa siya (In the President’s eyes when he was still campaigning), the main problem is law and order. Anong (What is the) root cause ng deterioration? Sa mata niya (In his eyes it’s), drugs, validated by the people. He won the election, he will now impose the law.
“May law and yet nakikialam sila (There are laws and yet they’re meddling). They are trying to micromanage the country. E somosobra na (They’re too much). I can see his point of view,” he added.
Pimentel was apparently referring to the complaint filed before the ICC in April last year , accusing Duterte and other officials of crimes against humanity in connection with the reported deaths that resulted in the government’s bloody war on illegal drugs.
Despite the withdrawal, the Senate leader acknowledged that the ICC could still continue with its investigation against Duterte.
Asked if the ICC could still order an arrest of the head of a non-member nation like Duterte, Pimentel said the Philippines would not arrest its own leader.
He also rejected the idea that the charges against Duterte would lead to his arrest.
“Ang prediction ko, hindi na aabot sa arrest warrant. Walang kwenta ‘yung kaso,” Pimentel said.
(My prediction is that it won’t lead to an arrest warrant. The case is worth nothing.)
Besides, Pimentel believes that the withdrawal from the treaty had nothing to do with the case against Duterte but the “attitude” of the ICC prosecutors towards the Chief Executive. /je
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