Palace: Case filed vs Duterte at ICC shows ‘utter disrespect’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said Saturday that any complaint filed in connection with Philippine government policies at a foreign tribunal is an “utter disrespect” to the sovereignty of the Philippines.
“The Philippines as an independent State, through its duly constituted authorities, must not be waylaid by any force, internal or external, in going about its task of serving and protecting the Filipino people,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“Any resort therefore to a foreign tribunal relative to the management of our country’s state policies is utter disrespect, and any complainant who does it who is a citizen of the Republic, is an infidel to the sovereign aspirations of this Republic,” he added.
Panelo said this as the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it would soon release its findings on the complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte on human rights abuses and alleged extra-judicial killings during his bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
Panelo denied allegations of the drug-related killings, noting that the government did not “sanction or condone any illegal act resulting in loss of lives.”
“The deaths occurring in the course of legitimate police operations come about because the criminal suspects subject of these law enforcement activities resort to violence that imperil the lives and limbs of the police officers,” Panelo said.
Panelo also urged that the ICC should dismiss the complaint on Duterte’s drug war for “lack of jurisdiction.”
“Its decision thereon should be consistent with its order on the Morales-del Rosario communication, that is to say, the ICC also has also no jurisdiction over it,” the Palace official said.
“Stated differently, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC should likewise rule that the preconditions for their court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the matter have not been met,” Panelo added.
Panelo was referring to former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s complaint against China and Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was dismissed by the ICC for lack of jurisdiction.
To recall, Morales and Rosario filed the complaint before the ICC due to China’s fishing activities in the West Philippine Sea.
The ICC’s dismissal also proved the government’s stand that the complaint was a “futile exercise.”
“This dismissal is consistent with our previous stand that the filing of the complaint is a futile exercise, for the reason that the ICC has no jurisdiction over China, it being not a state member,” Panelo said.
In February 2018, the ICC launched a preliminary examination into rights abuses allegedly committed during Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.
In March 2018, Duterte pulled out the Philippines from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, due to “baseless and outrageous attacks” against him and his government.
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