ICC told: PH won’t assist in probe
The International Criminal Court (ICC) could expect no cooperation from the Duterte administration, even if it continues with its efforts to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines amid killings in its war on drugs.
The ICC earlier said President Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute that created the international judicial body, would not affect ongoing proceedings concerning the country.
It said the court retained its jurisdiction over crimes committed when the state was a part to the statute, and could exercise jurisdiction over these crimes even after the withdrawal became effective.
But the ICC would get no help from the administration, said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“I don’t think the ICC can look forward to cooperation from the Philippines as a state-party or a soon-to-be former state-party to the International Criminal Court,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“I do not know how the ICC can proceed without cooperation from the Philippine state,” he said.
Last month, a prosecutor at the ICC in The Hague opened a preliminary examination into a complaint accusing Mr. Duterte and at least 11 officials of crimes against humanity.
Mr. Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute came shortly after the opening of the preliminary examination.
Malacañang claimed this violated the principle of complementarity because the ICC could only step in if the courts in the Philippines refused to investigate the situation in the country. This is not the case, according to Roque.
The President had also said that the Rome Statute was not in effect in the country because it was not published in the official gazette after its ratification in the Senate.
At the 39th graduation rites of the Philippine National Police Academy at Camp Gen. Mariano Castañeda in Silang, Cavite, on Wednesday, Mr. Duterte said the ICC failed to observe due process because the Rome Statute never got published in the Official Gazette.
“What is the due process involved here? Publication. So that you will be put to notice … But they never published it,” Duterte said.
He said the issue of killings blamed on his government’s war on drugs was an “old issue.” —WITH REPORTS FROM MARICAR P. CINCO, THE WIRES
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