SC to gov’t: Answer De Lima plea to join proceedings on ICC withdrawal
The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government to comment on Senator Leila de Lima’s request to participate as the Senate’s counsel in the upcoming oral argument on the petitions that challenged the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The SC gave Solicitor General Jose Calida five days, from date of notice, to submit his comment.
In her manifestation, De Lima asked the high court to allow her to participate in the oral arguments that had been rescheduled again from August 7 to August 14.
It was the second postponement of the proceedings since the SC directed the government to answer the petition filed by opposition senators. Their petition is now consolidated with a similar petition filed by the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC).
The petition of the opposition senators said that the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute “cannot be justified under the so-called ‘residual powers’ of the President.”
Likewise, the opposition senators argued that the Constitution mandated the Senate to ratify a treaty or an international agreement, and as such, the Executive branch cannot just unilaterally repeal a law or withdraw from the treaty of international agreement.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced the country’s withdrawal from the Statute last March citing the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against him and his administration over its anti-drug war that is being blamed for thousands of deaths.
Named respondents in the petitions were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Permanent Philippine mission to the UN Teodoro Locsin, Jr., and chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo. with Daphne Beltran/INQUIRER.net intern
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