Palace thanks Russia over its supportive comment on ICC withdrawal

Russian envoy Igor Khovaev and President Duterte / photo file (ctto)

Manila, Philippines – On Thursday, MalacaƱang conveyed its gratitude towards Russia by saying thank you for its comment regarding the President’s move to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.

On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev relayed that his country “fully understand” and “deeply respect” the withdrawal of the Philippines from ICC.

“That’s to be expected. We would like to thank Russia for such comment,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a briefing.

In an interview with ANC television, Khovaev said that ICC is not a judicial body and added that all its activities are “are highly politicized”.

The ambassador also said that ICC is being used “as instrument to put political pressure on selective countries.”

“We cannot accept certain approach that’s why my country decided to withdraw from their Rome Statute,” Khovaev said.

Further, Roque dissputed the ICC’s claim that the Philippines is bound to cooperate with the court’s preliminary investigation on its human rights case.

“When ICC said that we continue to be bound by a duty to cooperate, I’d like to reiterate that the President’s decision was to immediately withdraw. I don’t think ICC can look forward to cooperation from the Philippines as a state party or soon to be state party to the ICC,” Roque said.

“I don’t know how the ICC can proceed without the Philippines’ cooperation,” he said, adding that ICC should thinks things over again as “they are at the crossroads.”

Roque instilled that the country is not alone in its decision to withdraw, saying that other countries will also initiate the same decision soon.

“I have read reports that countries like South Africa, although it has relented from its earlier decision to withdraw from the court, will initiate withdrawal proceedings again,” he said.

Source: PNA

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