Malacanang reiterates ICC has no jurisdiction over Duterte
Malacanang reiterated on Monday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over President Rodrigo Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement as the country's withdrawal from the ICC takes effect on March 17.
"Let me restate our position on the matter. One, we said, we didn’t even withdraw. We said from the very beginning, we were not under its jurisdiction. That letter was only to inform them as a matter of courtesy that excuse us, we have not been under your jurisdiction from the very start," he said in a press briefing.
Duterte, who is facing a complaint before the ICC for the alleged crimes against humanity, said the Rome Statute, which the Senate ratified during the previous administration and has created the ICC, has no binding effect in the Philippines as it is void ab initio due to lack of publication.
Duterte, a lawyer by profession, insisted that under the Philippine law and jurisprudence, in order for a treaty, which has an effect of a criminal law, to be binding, there should be publication.
Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said that ICC has been violating its own provisions.
Assuming there is withdrawal from the Philippines, he said, "Under the law it says that they can proceed only when there is a preliminary investigation prior to the withdrawal; but there was no preliminary investigation, there was only preliminary examination. So if they do that with more reason that you should really not enter (the ICC) because it's violating its own laws."
Panelo said the courts in the Philippines are functioning, thus, ICC could not enter into the picture.
"We are willing and we are capable. In fact, it shows we have a robust judicial system. We have been prosecuting people and we have convictions, as well as acquittals," he added.
The complaint filed against Duterte was anchored on the Philippine government's failure to address the bloody war on illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS