Philippines may withdraw from Rome Statute of the ICC if it intervenes on drug war
The Philippines may withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court if it would intervene in the Duterte administration's war on drugs, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a press briefing, said he would attend in the 16th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the treaty that established the ICC in New York this week.
During the general debates of the Assembly of Parties, Roque said he would underscore the "principle of complementarity" that the ICC would only exercise jurisdiction if the local courts are unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction on any crime cognizable by the United Nations' court.
"And to violate the principle of complementarity would be to violate the very basis of our consent to be bound by the Rome Statute. And if this will happen, then there may be a possibility that the Philippines, like the three other African states, may withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC," said Roque, who is also presidential adviser on human rights.
Burundi has withdrawn from the Statute, while South Africa and The Gambia have decided to rescind their notifications of withdrawal.
Last April, Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio filed a complaint with the ICC against Duterte for allegedly committing the crimes against humanity and mass murder due to the deaths of thousands of drug suspects in the Philippines.
But Duterte had said that the ICC has no jurisdiction over him, citing the principle of "territoriality" as provided in the Revised Penal Code.
The Philippines signed the Rome Statute in December 2000, but it only deposited its instrument of ratification on August 30, 2011.
According to ICC, 123 countries are States Parties to the Statute ?33 African States, 19 Asia-Pacific States, 18 Eastern European States, 28 Latin American and Caribbean States, and 25 Western European and other States.
In the opening of the 16th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the treaty, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that "the ICC was created as a court of last resort" and State Parties have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute the serious crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
“The United Nations supports State Parties, at their request, to develop domestic capacities to uphold this obligation,” he has said.
He explained that how essential it is to reach universal ratification of the Statute to ensure accountability when States Parties fall short of fulfilling the obligation. Celerina Monte/DMS