"Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales have succeeded in embarrassing Mr. Duterte before the international community."
The communication to the International Criminal Court filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against China’s president, Xi Jinping, and other Chinese officials for “crimes against humanity” raises some questions.
First, what legal basis does that communication have?
According to Del Rosario and Morales, the crimes include the destruction of the environment in the West Philippine Sea within Philippine territory and sovereignty, depriving thousands of Filipino fishermen their livelihood.
Second, what was their motive for filing that “communication” in the first place?
It’s obvious that these former BS Aquino officials wants to make Filipinos aware of what China is doing. This should have been the responsibility of President Rodrigo Duterte as leader of our nation.
The two former Aquino officials obviously want to embarrass Duterte before the international community.
As a follow-up to my second question, was the communication then politically motivated? I think the intention of Del Rosario and Morales is clear. So yes, that move was definitely politically motivated!
So will the ICC assume jurisdiction over this communication?
Some analysts say it is an exercise in futility since both China and the Philippines are not members of the ICC anyway. Note that we withdrew from the ICC March 17 this year. Now, whether the withdrawal was legal or not—the Senate has not approved it—is something for the Supreme Court to decide.
Analysts and maritime experts also say that it is already a victory since the communication had been filed and people were already aware of it.
Others, including Malacañang, claim that since we have already withdrawn our membership with the ICC and that China is not a member in te first place, the issue is now moot and academic. Superpowers like the United States and China are not ICC members. So is Israel.
I believe the communication filed by Del Rosario and Morales have already achieved their purpose. Whether the ICC assumes jurisdiction over it is irrelevant.
Santa Banana, whether Duterte and his administration follow through is not the point, Del Rosario and Morales have already shown the world that Duterte has been playing footsies with Xi in exchange for aid, grants, loans and investments.
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Despite the withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC, some questions remain.
How about the war on illegal drugs where thousands have been killed?
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda herself said that the ICC can still investigate the Philippines because the killings took place when the Philippines still had not withdrawn from the Rome Statute.
Her statement came on the heels of Malacañang’s threat that ICC members would be barred from entering the country and that they could be deported if they insisted on investigating.
The ICC prosecutor said: “My office’s independent and impartial preliminary investigation continues pursuant to Article 127.2 of the Statute and based on prior ICC judicial ruling in the situation in Burundi. The Court retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed during the time in which the State was party to the statute and may exercise this jurisdiction evern after the withdrawal becomes effective.”
Will Duterte make good on his threat to bar the ICC investigators if they come here?
All I can say is “Abangan.”
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The complaint of the militant group Bayan to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the idea to penalize Manila Water was forthcoming.
It was to be expected that the people who experienced the water crisis in the east zone would not take the matter sitting down. They didn’t have water on their taps, and they had to buy expensive water containers.
The group wants rebates from and additional penalties on Manila Water.
I’d say Manila water was negligent. Its officials showed utter incompetence in not foreseeing what would happen.
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That multi-million dollar loan from China concluded by the Finance Department to finance the Chico Dam using the country’s natural resources as collateral raises fears that in the case of default, China could take over the oil and gas-rich Recto Bank and reefs, to the detriment of the Filipino people.
While the finance department that concluded the loan agreement with China defended the loan as ordinary, the use of natural resources as collateral is still being questioned.
This possibility has been articulated by no less than Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. He used Sri Lanka as an example. The Chinese are now exploiting the rich natural resources of Sri Lanka because it has defaulted on its loans.
Do we have to wait for that to happen to us?
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I would like to greet former President Fidel V. Ramos a belated Happy Birthday! May you live to be a hundred!
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I am saddened by the fact that my former fellow columnists, who remain my favorites, are now no longer writing for Manila Times. They are Kit Tatad and Jojo Robles. I may not agree with them all the time, but I read them just the same.