ICC’s posturing: Assault on country’s sovereignty (7)

Given the undisputed and compelling circumstances surrounding the entry of the Philippines to the International Criminal Court, the Rome Statute creating the ICC was never effective and enforceable owing to the following:

(1) Non-compliance with the mandatory requirement of publication on the Official Gazette in compliance with the due process clause of the Constitution and the New Civil Code on the enforceability of a law;

(2) Non-observance of the principle of complementarity of the ICC;

(3) Formal withdrawal of our country as a State Member in the International Court and its acceptance by the latter;

(4) Non -commencement of a formal preliminary investigation while the Philippines was a member of the ICC (although strictly speaking it never materialized owing to the failure of the Rome Statute being published in the Official Gazette, as officially admitted by former Special Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in her 14 June 2021 statement requesting permission from the ICC to formally conduct a preliminary investigation on the alleged killings in connection with the Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs,); and

(5) Presence of a strong and uncompromising judicial system that prosecutes persons, regardless of their social and political status, who commit crimes and violate human rights, it becomes indisputable that the International Criminal Court’s posturing and repeated insistence to place the Philippines under its jurisdiction is an intrusion into our internal affairs hence an assault to our country’s sovereignty.

In the face of this unwanted and unjustified interference by the International Criminal Court, it behooves the present dispensation to put the brakes on the ICC’s intransigence and naked violation of our sovereignty.

Unfortunately, the detractors of the previous administration as well as a few senators are advocating for a return to the fold of the International Criminal Court, and failing to be a part thereof, they insist that we cooperate in its investigation of alleged human rights violations and place under its jurisdiction the perceived violators thereof.

Fortunately, to the credit of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., he has expressed the administration’s policy of non-membership in the International Criminal Court.

Rightly so. How can we even consider being a member of an international body that not only does not respect our sovereignty but does not respect the provisions of the Rome Statute that created it as well? These unthinking critics and advocates do not mind our country being injured and insulted just so they can disparage and stain the name of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who asserted the country’s independence and refused to be under its jurisdiction.

These unrepentant and vociferous Duterte antagonists are espousing the government’s cooperation with the International Criminal Court on the latter’s persistent assertion to conduct investigation preparatory to putting the perceived Filipino offenders to trial and incarceration. Oblivious or ignorant of the fact that aiding and assisting the ICC in pursuing an act violative of our territorial integrity and sovereignty is in itself a brazen violation of the Constitution.

The Duterte enemies’ pushing for the government’s cooperation with the ICC’s processes is goading its officials, particularly the head of state to flagrantly violate the Constitution effectively putting the President open to being charged with an impeachable offense for willful violation of the Constitution and betrayal of the public trust.

The government must finally and unequivocally put the International Criminal Court on notice that it will no longer keep its eyes blind to its intrusions. We cannot tolerate the continued assault on our independence. There is no space for ambivalence or weakness in the matter of our country’s sovereignty.

The time to speak against the International Criminal Court’s belligerence and intrusion is now.

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