ICC complaint vs China’s Xi a ‘political’ move — Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang believes that the filing of a complaint by two former Philippine officials against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) is more a political move.
“I think more of political. They may know that China is not a member state-party, the Philippines is also not a member state-party, so how the ICC assumes jurisdiction?” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing Monday.
Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, noted that the complaint “might even strengthen China in refusing and making a hard stance on the South China Sea.”
Foreign Affairs chief Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales earlier filed a complaint, technically called a communication, before the ICC on behalf of Filipino fishermen who were “persecuted and injured” by China’s “atrocious actions” in the West Philippine Sea.
The complainants accused Xi of crimes against humanity over China’s activities to gain control over most of the South China Sea.
Panelo earlier called the complaint a “futile exercise,” insisting that the international tribunal cannot acquire jurisdiction over China for it is not a member of the ICC.
READ: Palace on ICC complaint vs Xi: It may be a futile exercise
He also accused Del Rosario of doing nothing when he was still the country’s top diplomat and when China was just starting their activities in the contested areas.
Panelo, citing an unnamed source, said that Del Rosario opted not to act when “informed officially” of China’s activities the West Philippine Sea.
“In fact, pictures were given to him… but they ignored it because according to my source he doesn’t want to rock the boat,” he said, adding that he had asked his “source” to provide documentation.
“If that is true then… bakit noon hindi ka gumalaw? Ngayon ka nag-gagagalaw kung kailan wala ka na sa posisyon. At that time you can protest, made noise,” he added.
Under Del Rosario, who was Secretary of Foreign affairs from 2011 to 2016, the country filed and won a case before the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration challenging China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.
“What my source is saying… they were just starting… maliit pa lang ‘yun, ayaw na nilang gumalaw. In other words, pinabayaan lang nilang lumaki saka lang sila nag-file sa court,” Panelo said. /cbb
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