By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate said the Philippine’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court taking effect on March 17 poses a challenge to human rights advocates and the Filipino electorate.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it’s a challenge to human rights advocates to work harder in monitoring the human rights abuses here.
As for the electorate, he said it’s a challenge to elect lawmakers who are independent-minded in the May 13 midterm polls.
“The withdrawal would mean that the human rights advocate should work harder to monitor the human rights abuses,” said Pabillo in an interview.
“The challenge to the Filipinos now is to elect senators who are independent minded so as to make the President and his minions accountable,” he added.
Pabillo is also convinced that the cases against Duterte will still be pursued by the ICC despite the move.
The Philippines’ withdrawal takes effect a year after the government transmitted its notice of withdrawal to the office of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General in New York.
The withdrawal came after the ICC launched in February 2018 its preliminary examination on the brutal war on drugs, which was said to have caused the killing of thousands of suspected drug criminals, mostly from the poorer sector.
The ICC is presently evaluating 52 cases accusing Duterte of committing crimes against humanity.