Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

PH transmits to United Nations notice of withdrawal from Int'l Criminal Court

PH transmits to United Nations notice of withdrawal from Int'l Criminal Court

His legal counsel said because Philippines' entry into the Rome Statute was not announced in the country's official gazette, it did not apply.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros said Thursday President Duterte's declaration of withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), only exposed his fear of being subjected to international scrutiny and prosecution.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque cautioned that there might be an "avalanche" of countries leaving the ICC while other nations are likely to refuse to join the global court now.

The Philippines on Friday informed the UN Secretary-General of its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Only the Philippines has taken the role of advocating that other countries in the region should become a member.

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"To prove that it's not a way of evading or getting away from consequences or the jurisdiction of ICC ... even if we withdraw, our actions back when we're a member are still covered", he said as quoted by the state-run Philippine News Agency.

The ICC called upon the Philippine government not to continue with its planned withdrawal from among states that ratified the statute, a 1998 United Nations treaty which created the ICC, citing the importance of Manila's membership. Because you have shown that you can exercise your power without accountability.

Ms Bensouda first said she was "deeply concerned" about reports of extrajudicial killings in October 2016, less than four months after Mr Duterte assumed office on a pledge to crack down on drug dealers.

"The government affirms its commitment to fight against impunity for atrocity crimes, notwithstanding its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, especially since the Philippines has a national legislation punishing atrocity crimes", the letter said.

In a statement signed by Duterte on Wednesday, he declared that The Hague-based organisation "has no jurisdiction nor will it acquire jurisdiction" over him.

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Duterte's bloody campaign has caused worldwide alarm and fierce criticism from some United Nations representatives, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who on Friday said Duterte should submit himself for a psychiatric examination.

"Any act that may set back the global movement towards greater accountability for atrocity crimes and the worldwide rule of law is, therefore, regrettable", the ICC said.

"The acts allegedly committed by me are neither genocide nor war crimes", he continued.

He warned that summary killings related to the war against drugs will continue unabated because "with the ICC kicked out, there will be no more major independent monitors or censors to rein in or guard against atrocities with imposable sanctions".

Lagman expressed fear that the global community will lose trust in the Philippines "because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states".

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Article 127 of the Rome Statute states that even if a party withdraws from the treaty, it "shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial obligations which may have accrued".

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