With the formal withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) effective on Sunday, the resistance by and by criticize President Rodrigo Duterte. A year ago, Duterte reported that the Philippines was pulling back from ICC for setting a fundamental examination against him over the supposed additional legal killings. In an announcement, Senator Risa Hontiveros said that the exit of the Philippines from the ICC is a “urgent” plan of Duterte to escape worldwide open responsibility for the wrongdoings he is blamed for.
Hindi ito pagtataguyod ng ating soberanya. Ito ay pagtatanggol sa isang tiranya,” Hontiveros said. “He can still be held liable for offenses committed while the Philippines was a signatory to the ICC. It will not discharge our country of its obligations while it was still a party to the said agreement,” Hontiveros said. “It will also not disable our country’s cooperation with the ICC conducting criminal investigations which were initiated before the said withdrawal,” she added.
Senator Leila De Lima who is currently detained, agreed to the statement of Hontiveros, saying that Duterte should face the complaint against him instead of “hiding under the skirt of his men.” “Mr. President, ikaw na ngayon ang nanlalaban sa harap ng mga awtoridad ng hustisya. Gusto mo lamang isahan ang taumbayan at ang mundo. Gagamitin mo pa ang kapangyarihan ng opisina mo para manlaban sa katotohanan at hustisya,” De Lima said.
“Gagawa-gawa ka ng kasalanan, tapos ngayong panahon na para managot ay tatakbo ka lang pala? Mahiya ka naman at ang mga tauhan mo,” she added. Senatorial candidate of Otso Diretso Gary Alejano, for his part, expressed concern over the domestic and international implications of the country’s withdrawal from the international court. “From a domestic point of view, the withdrawal from the ICC will embolden our leaders to commit further human rights violations,” Alejano said.
“From an international perspective, [the] President’s idea to withdraw signifies an act that goes against universal values other countries have adopted and fostered. Moreover, his act will restrict our country from receiving any foreign aid which requires as a condition the preservation and protection of human rights,” he added. “They will not be spared from the clutches of justice once the war on drugs, which have claimed thousands of Filipino lives, is proven to be a crime against humanity,” he said. “You can withdraw but you cannot hide,” he added.
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