De Lima seeks SC nod to join proceeding on Rome Statute issue
Senator Leila de Lima has asked the Supreme Court to allow her to participate in the oral argument regarding the minority senators’ petition questioning the Duterte administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Rome Statute, or the country’s membership in the International Criminal Court.
In her four-page manifestation with motion, De Lima said while it is true that the 1987 Constitution prohibits members of Congress to personally appear before any court as counsel, the high court itself has allowed in several instances a lawmaker to participate in oral arguments.
“This Honorable Court is respectfully asked to take judicial notice of its practice of permitting members of Congress to appear before it and argue their cases,” De Lima said.
The detained senator is the lead counsel for the minority senators.
De Lima, together with minority Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes IV and Risa Hontiveros asked the high court to declare as ineffective the Philippine government’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute.
In their petition filed May 16, the senators said without the Senate’s consent, the government’s withdrawal is unconstitutional.
The oral argument on the case has been moved from July 24 to August 7.
Two petitions are already pending before the high court questioning the government’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute without Senate ratification.
The second petition was filed by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) led by former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales.
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