Duterte says ICC has no jurisdiction over China
President Rodrigo Duterte said the International Criminal Court (ICC), just like with the Philippines, has no jurisdiction over China.
In an ambush interview in Taguig on Thursday, Duterte said former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and ex-Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales are “entitled” to file the case since they are Filipino citizens.
“Well I said they're are entitled to file the case. They are Filipino citizens,” Duterte said.
“They think they have a good case and I will say there is no jurisdiction of this country and of China. Especially China, we'll just go along that line,” he added.
The former officials submitted a letter to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda outlining alleged crimes by Chinese officials in their “systematic plan” to control the South China Sea that they believe is within jurisdiction of the court.
They urged the ICC to conduct a preliminary examination on alleged crimes by Chinese officials not only to the Filipinos but to other nations.
The two former officials filed the complaint on March 15, two days before the Philippines said it no longer belongs to the ICC, on behalf of Filipino fishermen.
Asked if this jeopardizes the country’s relationship to China, Duterte said it will not because the Philippines is a democratic country where anybody can bring a suit against anybody.
“But whether or not it would prosper, or whether or not we have the jurisdiction, that's something else,” Duterte said.
“Remember, China is not a member of the ICC,” he added.
Duterte reiterated that the Philippines never became a member of the international court.
“We did not withdraw because there was no law at all because of the flaw that it violated the Constitution. Publication of the law is very important so that the people will know that there is such a law,” said Duterte.
“By publishing it, it put everybody on constructive notice that there is a law. That’s what happened to me. They tried to acquire jurisdiction over my person but they forgot to publish the law,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS