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Palace says PH can withdraw from ICC; tells opposing senators ‘good luck’

By: - Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
/ 06:08 PM May 16, 2018
Harry Roque

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / JOAN BONDOC

Good luck.

This was Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s message to opposition senators who challenged before the Supreme Court (SC) the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Roque on Wednesday dismissed the senators’ petition for certiorari seeking to nullify Duterte’s move to quit the ICC.

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“Well, good luck to them, I don’t think [there is legal] basis,” Roque said in a chance interview in Malacañang.

Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday afternoon filed a petition to declare the President’s move to quit the ICC as “ineffective” because it lacks Senate approval.

The senators argued that Palace alone cannot unilaterally repeal a law or withdraw from a treaty or international agreement, thus, doing such may be considered a grave abuse of discretion.

READ: Opposition senators ask SC to declare PH withdrawal from ICC ‘ineffective’

Roque, however, said the Chief Executive “remains the chief architect of foreign policy” and courts always defer to the Executive department on issues on foreign affairs.

“Kasi pag certiorari kinakailangan may (Because when you say certiorari there should be) grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excessive jurisdiction. You cannot allege that on matters of foreign affairs,” said Roque, a former human rights lawyer.

He explained that the law only requires Senate concurrence in approving international treaties, and not otherwise.

“Wala pong requirement [pag] tayo ay lalabas sa tratado,” he said.

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(There is no requirement when we decide to leave a treaty.)   /jpv

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TAGS: duterte, ICC, Palace, Roque, SC, Senate
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