ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines – Palace

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DAVAO CITY (March 11) — Malacañang today reiterates its stance that the International Criminal Court (ICC) does not and will not have jurisdiction over the country’s internal judicial dealings.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo relayed this to Palace reporters in a press briefing, saying that it is a no-brainer to withdraw from the ICC since the Philippines is not under it. 

“We said from the very beginning that we were not under its jurisdiction. That letter was only to tell them as a matter of courtesy that, excuse us, we have not been under your jurisdiction from the very start,” Secretary Panelo said. 

According to the Palace official, the international tribunal itself is violating its own provisions so it is imperative not to be part of an organization which does not put premium on its own rules, he added.

Secretary Panelo said that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over the country so its supposed preliminary examination over the human rights abuse allegations against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte over his war on drugs is moot and academic. 

“In the first place, from the very beginning, they cannot be doing any investigation because as we pointed out to them, it never acquired jurisdiction over the Philippines from the very inception,” Panelo explained. 

Quoting the Chief Executive, the Palace official said that there is a requirement of publication before it becomes binding to the country and the organization. 

“As argued by the President, there is a requirement of publication and that was never published. Hence, there is no jurisdiction over his person and for that matter over any person in this country,” Sec. Panelo said. 

In the meantime, Secretary Panelo, pursuant to the complementarity principle, maintained that the Philippines has a working judicial system and any intervention from foreign legal institutions is not needed at the moment. 

“Our courts are functioning. So paano sila papasok? We are willing and we are capable. In fact it shows we have a robust judicial system. We’ve been prosecuting people and we have convictions as well as acquittals,” Panelo pointed out. 

‘Rappler case not a press freedom issue – Palace’

Secretary Panelo, meanwhile, reiterated in the same press briefing that the case Rappler is facing is not a press freedom issue. 

This after the Court of Appeals denied the motion of Rappler and stood by its previous ruling that the company is not fully Filipino-owned. 

“Oh definitely. It’s not related [to press freedom]. Ever since hindi naman talaga related,” Panelo said. 

The Palace official likewise assured that the Executive will not interfere in any way with the judiciary regarding the matter. 

“As we said, any case that has been filed before the courts, we will not interfere. We will let the law take its course,” the President’s chief legal counsel underscored.-NewsLine.ph

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