Del Rosario welcomes Duterte’s ‘thoughtful reply’
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario welcomed the “thoughtful reply” from President Duterte on the complaint of crimes against humanity that he and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had filed against China’s President Xi Jinping in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The case alleging “atrocious actions” within Philippine territory by the Chinese government under Xi that “persecuted and injured” Filipino fishermen was filed last week before Manila’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute—the treaty that established the ICC—took effect on March 17.
Responding to reporters’ questions about the case on Thursday, Duterte, who has improved ties with China that were strained under his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, doubted the ICC would have jurisdiction over Xi but said Del Rosario and Morales were “entitled” to submit their complaint.
The President also said the ICC complaint against Xi would not affect 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.
The complaint, which is called a communication, was submitted to the office of ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on March 15.
“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 stand taken by the current leadership toward China, we were expecting that Beijing would reciprocate this good will. Time, however, has shown otherwise.” —DARRYL JOHN ESGUERRA
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