PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte cannot unilaterally decide to withdraw the country’s membership and support to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because the Philippine Senate ratified the country’s commitment to the world body.
Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto and Senators Panfilo Lacson and Leila de Lima made the common opinion amid the President’s pronouncement that he might follow the decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin to quit the ICC.
“Hindi po pupuwedeng gagawin ‘yan unilaterally ng isang Pangulo kasi we should remember that ICC was ratified by the Senate,” said De Lima in a chance interview.
“So kung magwi-withdraw po tayo from ICC, kailangan na meron ding concurrence ang Senado. Kaya nga sa mga ganyang bagay, hindi dapat nagpapadalos-dalos,” she said.
“So, kailangan magkonsulta muna siya sa mga dapat konsultahin—members of Congress, other political leaders, human rights groups, ‘yung publiko,” De Lima added.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands is the last resort for prosecuting individuals accused of crimes against humanity. The Philippines is one of the signatories to the Rome Statute which founded the ICC. President Duterte called the ICC “useless.”
Recto said that the “process of disengaging from an international commitment or disaffiliating from world bodies cannot be triggered by an off-the-cuff statement from the President.”