Opposition senatorial bets back ICC case against China’s Xi
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial candidates have rallied behind former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for suing Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said in a statement on Friday that Del Rosario and Morales did something that the Duterte administration cannot to do, which is “stand up for our country and the Filipino people.”
The Otso Diretso bet also branded the communication filed by the two former government officials before the ICC against China as “long overdue.”
Del Rosario and Morales said “atrocious actions of Chinese officials in the South China Sea and within Philippine territory” constitute crimes against humanity that ICC can prosecute.
Lawyer Florin Hilbay, meanwhile, blamed the Duterte administration for allowing the Chinese government’s “transgressions” and for “failing to protect our sovereignty when they refused to defend the Tribunal’s decision in the case we won against China last July 2016.”
“… (T)his government welcomed China within our shores and allowed it to militarize artificial islands over our territories, refuse our fishermen access to their livelihood, and let illegal Chinese workers steal jobs that were supposed to be for Filipinos,” Hilbay lamented.
“If this government will not defend us and our future generations from China’s occupation and destruction of our resources, we will,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte, on the other hand, believes that the ICC case against Xi would not affect Philippine-China relations.
“The Philippines is a democratic country and anybody can bring a suit against anybody but whether or not it would prosper, or whether or not we have the jurisdiction, that’s something else,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
“Remember, China is not a member of the ICC,” he added. /kga
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