By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday expressed his support for the decision of the Duterte administration to formally withdraw Philippine membership in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Gordon said the Philippines becoming a party to the ICC was a mistake in this first place. The withdrawal became effective last Sunday.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, Gordon explained that the country’s justice system was working and the courts were functioning.
“The ICC is intended to be the court of last resort when there is a failure of national justice. However, our justice system works, our courts are functioning. The prosecution of the policemen who killed Kian Delos Santos illustrates that our justice system works,” he said.
Gordon was not a senator when the treaty was submitted to the Senate for its concurrence in accordance with Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.
“I was not a senator at the time the, but if I were, I would have voted against it. It has made us appear as a weak country,” he said.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted on July 17 July 1998 and entered into force on July 1, 2002. The Philippines, through President Estrada, signed the Rome Statute on December 28, 2000.
There are several countries which have not signed the treaty, or signed it but have failed to ratify it, such as the USA, Israel, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
In March last year, President Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing from ICC, shortly after the court’s Office of the Prosecutor set a preliminary investigation on the complaint filed against him over allegations of state-sanctioned killings in his war on drugs.