Palace: Miriam Santiago’s election as ICC judge void
MANILA, Philippines — The election of the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was “void” as the country was never part of the international tribunal, Malacañang said Monday.
“If the position is we’ve never been a state party, then logically it is void unless the international court says it is not,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“That’s a legal issue. As far as we are concerned, they never assumed jurisdiction over us. As far as they are concerned, they assumed jurisdiction because there was a treaty,” he added.
The Philippines officially pulled out of the ICC on March 17.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Malacañang claimed that the country was never an official member-state of the tribunal, citing the government’s failure to publish its ratification of the Rome Statute — the treaty that created the ICC — in the Official Gazette.
In 2011, Santiago became the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to be elected as ICC judge. She stepped down from the post in 2014, citing health reasons. Two years later, she died after battling lung cancer.
Currently, former University of the Philippines law college dean Raul Pangalangan sits as an ICC judge.
Asked why the Philippine’s has yet to pull out the appointment of Pangalangan, Panelo said it’s not up to the government to decide.
“We don’t have to pull out anybody if the position is we never was under the jurisdiction of the court, then it behooves whoever is there to do something for himself,” he said. /ee
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