Malacañang to ICC: “Good luck on obtaining the cooperation of the Philippine state."

The International Criminal Court is on its own.

Days after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has withdrawn the country’s membership to the Rome Statute, the ICC cannot expect any help from the Philippines. Duterte has cited “outrageous attacks” against him by the ICC and the United Nations as one of the reasons for such withdrawal of membership.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque during the weekly press briefings was asked what will be Malacañang’s message to the International Criminal Court after the tribunal has made a statement that it will still continue its “preliminary examination” of the alleges drug-related killings despite President Duterte’s withdrawal of its membership to the Rome Statute that created the ICC.  

“Good luck on obtaining the cooperation of the Philippine state. But come on, you know, law is based on human experience. The human experience is, do not expect any cooperation from the Philippine government,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

The Presidential Spokesman said the International Criminal Court would display its incompetence if it proceeds with the preliminary investigation against President Duterte and other government officials.

“Given the very limited number of member-states in Southeast Asia, which is just Cambodia and Timor Leste, we do not know how the court can proceed. For its own good, they should drop the case rather than prove to the world that the court is useless,” Roque said.

“The proceedings can continue but the President has said, the matter of cooperation, well, the court will never acquire jurisdiction over him,” he added.

Roque also answered the question as to who might be the proximate cause for the Philippines decision of leaving the ICC. He answered that it was ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is to blame , her announcement of the start of the preliminary examination of the alleged killings under the Duterte administration.

The prosecutor has no basis to interfere. I feel and I reiterate – this is the fault of the prosecutor! States when they became part of the ICC did not surrender their sovereignty. They did not surrender the power of their local courts to exercise jurisdiction over crimes that happened in the Philippines,” the spokesman said.  
 “We have a domestic IHL (International Humanitarian Law), which is the legal basis for investigating and prosecuting crimes against humanity in the Philippines. The Philippine courts should have been given the opportunity to exercise jurisdiction... The prosecutor was really out of bounds,” he added.
Over the weekend the President called other member nations of the Rome Statute to follow the Philippines example by leaving the ICC, saying that the treaty was sponsored by the European Union that is trying to atone for its past sins.

Source: Philstar 

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