By Ben Rosario
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman assailed anew presidential spokesman Harry Roque for predicting an exodus of nations from the mantle of the International Criminal Court, saying that such “hallucinations” may have come with his recent job as the Duterte government’s “chief apologist.”
In a statement, Lagman, head of the Magnificent Seven opposition bloc, said Roque has demeaned his position “by justifying President Duterte’s improvident decision” for the government to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Roque said Duterte’s is fully convinced that Philippines must withdraw from the Rome Statute, saying that the chief executive made the correct decision.
The president made the decision as the ICC prepared to investigate his government in connection with his bloody campaign against drugs that has resulted in the death of thousands of suspected drug pushers and users, including women and minors
“Bolting the ICC is abandoning the Rome Statute which is a global bastion for protecting human rights against the brutalities of national leaders,” Lagman said..
He chided Roque for “conveniently” forgetting that he vigorously campaign for the ratification of the Rome Statute by the Philippine Senate.
As a congressman, Roque filed House Bill 2835, entitled “An Act in Compliance by the Republic of the Philippines with its Obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
“Now he proclaims, without factual bases, that the Philippine withdrawal would spell the “beginning of the end” for ICC as there would be an “avalanche of other States leaving” the ICC on the heels of the Philippine disengagement,” Lagma said .
“These forecasts are nightmarish projections which are unfounded and irresponsible,” the Bicolano solon said. “Roque’s nightmares began ever since he was anointed as the President’s official apologist.”
Lagman added: “One can afford to dream because dreams are free, but nightmares could be fatal.”