Malacañang has welcomed the International Criminal Court’s ruling which says that it lacked jurisdiction over the complaint filed by two former Philippine officials against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for alleged crimes against humanity for its sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the ICC’s decision complements Malacañang’s earlier stance that the communication filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales against China may not prosper.
“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,” the Palace official said.
“Neither does it have jurisdiction over the Philippines, given that the Rome Statute failed to comply with the publication requirement in accordance with due process under our Constitution,” he added.
Del Rosario and Carpio-Morales, on behalf of Filipino fishermen “persecuted and injured” by China’s massive island-building in the South China Sea, filed a communication against Xi and other Chinese officials for purportedly perpetrating crimes against humanity attributed to Beijing’s allegedly aggressive militarization of the busy waterway.
The two former government officials accused Xi and other Chinese officials of committing crimes against humanity for implementing Beijing’s “systematic plan to control the South China Sea.”
The communication was submitted to the ICC on March 15, or two days before the Philippines’ official withdrawal from the Rome Statute on March 17.
China is not a member-state of the ICC, but the communication states that the ICC can exercise jurisdiction over China for its “atrocious actions” in the South China Sea, particularly within Philippine territory.