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ICC bias prompts PH, others to quit —legal counsel

A PALACE official on Tuesday said the International Criminal Court has failed to live up to the hopes of the international community and has pushed the Philippines and other countries to withdraw from the tribunal.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said there was a concerted effort among United Nations officials to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte, which is why the Philippines withdrew from the ICC and denounced it as one-sided and inefficient.

“Maybe they should be asking themselves why there are so many members [of the UN] who are not members thereof, and there are some 

who have withdrawn. There must be something wrong with the ICC,” Panelo said in a forum at the University of the Philippines-BGC.

He said complaints of bias in the ICC also pushed three African states—Burundi, Gambia and South Africa—to signal their pullout from the tribunal. So far, only Burundi has actually left.

Russia, which signed the Rome Statute but did not ratify it, remains outside the ICC’s jurisdiction.

The Philippines is among the nations that have ratified the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the ICC to pursue legal action against leaders for committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Panelo said declarations by the ICC that the Philippines is still under its jurisdiction would not change the stand of President Duterte.

Panelo said the UN has shown its bias against Duterte, after a special rapporteur submitted a report to the ICC laying out evidence that Duterte had been directly responsible for “extrajudicial executions and mass murder” over three decades since his war on drugs as mayor of Davao City in 1988.

The accusations led the Duterte to withdraw from the ICC last week, he said. 

Topics: International Criminal Court , ICC , Rome Statute , Salvador Panelo , United Nations , Rodrigo Duterte
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