By Roy Mabasa
China has expressed its support to the Philippines in its decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute.
“China believes that a sovereign country has the right to say no to political manipulation under the cloak of law,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a news briefing earlier this week.
“The international community should give more understanding and support to those efforts instead of pointing fingers and casting blames,” Lu said.
Earlier this month, the Philippines submitted its letter of withdrawal from the international treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Philippine government said that the decision to pull out from the international court was a “principled stand against those who politicize and weaponize human rights.”
Despite withdrawing from the ICC, Manila assured the international community that it will remain resolute in upholding human rights.
“The government remains resolute in effecting its principal responsibility to ensure the long-term safety of the nation in order to promote inclusive national development and secure a decent and dignified life for all,” the Philippines said in its letter of withdrawal.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano maintained that there is no crime or liability linked to the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
“Contrary to what some parties are trying to make it appear, there is no failure on the part of the Philippine government in dealing with issues, problems, and concerns arising from this campaign. These are dealt with by independent and well-functioning organs and agencies of our State,”Cayetano said.
Earlier, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo expressed confidence the Philippines can stand on its own even if it is not a member of the Rome Statute.
Panelo, in a radio interview, said the ICC is not needed in the country as the country’s justice system is functioning just fine.