Complaint against China before ICC was to ''demand accountability'': officials
Two former Philippine officials said on Friday the complaint filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court ( ICC) aimed to "demand accountability" and "to check impunity."
"We are certainly doing it for the marginalized fishermen, for us as a whole, and for other countries," former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said in a press briefing.
She explained they did not seek the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte when they filed it before the ICC on March 15.
"There was no need for us to seek permission or advise the admin that we were filing to communication to the ICC," Carpio said.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said aside from improvement of lives of 320,000 affected fishermen, they also want to give light on the issue of impunity in the South China Sea.
"We have impunity that exists, and at this point in time, we do not know how to deal with it. At the same time there are avenues that offer itself for us to possibly consider dealing with impunity," he said.
Del Rosario added that failure to exact accountability on the actions by the Chinese might result to continued food and livelihood deprivation of Filipino fishermen, forced exclusion of non-Chinese nationals in the South China Sea, and impunity and license to continue the "most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment."
When asked whether the former officials consider Duterte as an enabler which caused the China's takeover in the South China Sea, Del Rosario said: "I don't agree that Duterte is an enabler because a lot of those artificial islands were there before (his administration)."
Morales also added that the case against Xi will not affect the Philippines' relationship with China.
The former officials are optimistic that the case will have a positive outcome. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS