PRRD upheld PH sovereignty by withdrawing from ICC: Sec Andanar

President Rodrigo Duterte upheld Philippine sovereignty with his decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday.

This, as he welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court that junked petitions questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC for being “moot and academic.”

“We welcome the just and fair ruling of the Supreme Court that dismissed petitions questioning the Philippine Government’s unilateral withdrawal from the International Criminal Court,” Andanar said in a press statement.

Citing the SC ruling, Andanar said it was only right for President Rodrigo Duterte to leave the ICC for meddling into the country’s affairs.

“As the chief architect of our country’s foreign policy and international engagements, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, well within his capacity, upheld our sovereignty by withdrawing from the ICC who insists on getting involved with our nation’s affairs, and hindering our collective progress in securing the safety of our country from societal ills,” he said.

He stood pat on his statement that the Duterte administration continues to uphold human rights and rule of law while enforcing the crackdown on illegal drugs.

“We assert that the government, under the leadership and through the strong political will of President Duterte, continues to uphold and respect human rights and the rule of law while aiming to eradicate criminality,” he said.

The fact that the country’s legal and judicial systems are ready to receive and rule complaints, he said, proves that the administration is able to address possible human rights violations.

“Our functioning legal and judicial systems and our constant engagements with different independent and international organizations, are a testament that this government is committed to protecting and championing human rights,” he added.

On May 16, 2018, then senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, as well as incumbent opposition Senators Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Franklin Drilon questioned the ICC withdrawal before the SC, arguing that it cannot be done without the Senate’s concurrence.

Another petition was filed on June 13, 2018 by the Philippine Coalition for the ICC, claiming the withdrawal was based on “capricious, whimsical, ridiculous, misleading or misled, incoherent and/or patently false grounds, with no basis in fact, law or jurisprudence.”

The SC on Tuesday dismissed the petitions filed against Duterte’s decision to pull out of ICC sans the Senate’s concurrence for being “moot and academic.”

The Philippines ’ withdrawal from the ICC, already took effect on March 17, 2019, exactly a year after Duterte revoked the Rome Statute, a treaty that created the international court on Nov. 1, 2011.

The country severed ties from the ICC after its special prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started a preliminary examination on the alleged human rights violations under the administration’s anti-drug war. (PNA)

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