Del Rosario welcomes Duterte’s ‘thoughtful reply’ on ICC case vs Xi
MANILA, Philippines — Former Foreign Affairs chief Albert Del Rosario has welcomed what he called a “thoughtful reply” of President Rodrigo Duterte on their complaint before the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Chinese President Xi Jinping over intrusions in the West Philippine Sea.
Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed a “crime against humanity” case against Xi at ICC over “atrocious actions” of the Chinese government within Philippine territory.
Duterte, who has engaged China “peacefully” on years-long maritime dispute, said the two former government officials were “entitled” to submit their complaint against the Asian powerhouse.
He also said the ICC complaint against Xi will not affect the Philippine-China relations.
“In this regard, we would like to thank our President for his thoughtful reply,” Del Rosario said in a statement on Friday.
Del Rosario, who served as the country’s top diplomat from 2011 to 2016, then explained why they launched the complaint just now.
The communication was officially transmitted at the office of ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on March 15, just two days before the withdrawal of the Philippines from the Rome Statute – which created ICC – took effect.
“The question that might be asked of us is why are we just now submitting the communication to the ICC to help our poor fishermen,” Del Rosario said.
“Given the accommodating stands taken by the current leadership towards China, we were expecting that Beijing would reciprocate this good will.”
“Time, however, has shown otherwise,” he added. /kga
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