Senators support PH’s ICC withdrawal

Published March 20, 2019, 10:23 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City –Senators allied with the administration of President Duterte have expressed support for the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel III (Ali Vicoy / Manila Bulletin File Photo)
Senate President Aquilino Koko Pimentel III
(Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin File Photo)

Senator Koko Pimentel urged the people to honor President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC effective March 17.

He added the president’s move would not affect the country because progressive states such as the United States, Russia, and China are not members of the ICC.

“Ang ICC ang obligasyon mo lang ay hulihin ang ipinapahuli sa iyo ng korte kapag nasa teritoryo mo,” he said in an interview during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-Tingog campaign rally attended by over 15,000 people at Tacloban City Astrodome on Tuesday.

He also believes that senate approval is only necessary in joining, but not withdrawing from the treaty.

Senator Cynthia Villar assured that Philippine courts are capable of protecting the people’s rights as long as they are fair.

“Maski naman may ICC, kung ang Philippine courts ay defective, it doesn’t work,” she said.

She added that it will not affect investments in the country because investors are particular in looking into Gross Domestic Product growth.

“Ang importante na ang budget maipasa na dahil nagbibigay ng maraming trabaho sa tao, hindi ‘yung ICC,” she stressed.

The Philippines ratified the Rome Statute on August 30, 2011.

President Duterte moved for the country’s withdrawal after the body launched a preliminary examination in 2018 on his war on drugs which allegedly involved extra-judicial killings and drew international censure.

The ICC has vowed to continue its preliminary examination on the killings, which occurred during the country’s membership with the Court despite the Philippines’ withdrawal.