New suit bucks PH withdrawal from ICC

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 280

ANOTHER petition was filed yesterday with the Supreme Court challenging the move of President Duterte withdrawing the country from the International Criminal Court.

The Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) asked the SC to declare as void Duterte’s move, including the notice of withdrawal from the ICC.

“The President’s unilateral edict withdrawing the membership of the Philippines in the ICC without benefit of parliamentary concurrence or approval as required under the 1987 Charter, denies Filipinos their right to redress in the event of state default from its obligations, in particular as these pertain to the commission of the most heinous international crimes against its own citizens,” part of the petition said.

The petitioners added that Duterte committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to an absence or lack of jurisdiction when he unilaterally made the move in violation of the 1987 Constitution.

“His act violated the Constitutional system of checks and balances in treaty making under Article VII, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution, which prescribes a shared duty towards that end between the Executive and Legislative branches of government,” the petition said.

It further said that Duterte’s decision is ‘based on capricious, whimsical, ridiculous, misleading, incoherent and or patently false grounds, with no basis in fact, law or jurisprudence.”

Duterte announced the country’s withdrawal from the ICC last March citing the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against him and his administration over its anti-drug war that is being blamed for thousands of deaths.

Duterte’s announcement came after ICC special prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started a preliminary examination into the alleged human rights violations amid the intensified anti-drug war.

The first petition was filed last May 16 by opposition senators led by Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan. It argued that the withdrawal from the ICC "cannot be justified under the so-called 'residual powers' of the President."

The other senators who signed the petition were Paulo Beningo “Bam” Aquino, Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes IV, Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima.