‘Democratic’ PH can’t ignore ICC
The Philippines cannot engage in double talk on democracy and human rights, international rights watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday, after the government disassociated itself from a US Summit for Democracy declaration acknowledging the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a statement, HRW Asia director Elaine Pearson said the government “cannot say it upholds [democratic] values but at the same time reject, ridicule and threaten accountability mechanism like the ICC.”
Pearson’s statement came after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that human rights platforms “should not be politicized” in response to participating countries in the US-hosted Summit for Democracy.
READ: PH joins global declaration of commitment to democracy but nixes ICC
The declaration noted the “important role played by the ICC as a permanent and impartial tribunal complementary to national jurisdictions in advancing accountability for the most serious crimes under international law.”
But “while the ICC’s role may be acknowledged provided it abides by the principle of complementarity, the Philippines’ earlier decision to withdraw from the ICC was precisely because the court failed the test of complementarity.”
The DFA is referring to the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute in 2018 after the court decided to look into former President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
‘Duplicity and rhetoric’
The complementarity principle means that the ICC complements national criminal jurisdictions and will only step in if member states are shown to be unable to carry out effective investigations and prosecutions relating to international crimes.
To this, Pearson warned the international community not to be fooled by the government’s “duplicity and rhetoric.” “The Marcos administration’s avowed commitments to protect human rights and fight impunity will be shown by whether it cooperates with the ICC’s investigation,” she added.
PH to ‘disengage’ as ICC junks appeal on probe
ICC Appeals Chamber denies PH bid to suspend drug war probe
Drug war victims’ kin tell ICC: Don’t let PH gov’t stall probe
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.