By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter
THE Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) urged the Supreme Court to resolve the petitions against the country’s withdrawal from the ICC, which will take effect on Sunday, March 17.
In its motion filed Friday, PCICC said the country’s withdrawal from the ICC would deprive Filipinos of effective legal remedies against potential international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the Philippines.
“Further, if and when the withdrawal takes effect, petitioners submit that it would mean Filipinos would be deprived of effective remedies provided for under international law and constitutional law in the event that there is inaction by Philippine law enforcement authorities to investigate or prosecute impunity committed in the Philippines,” the motion said.
“Petitioners fear that with the withdrawal taking effect without this Honorable Court’s action, those who kill with impunity will only be further emboldened,” it added.
On March 17 last year, the Philippines submitted to the United Nations secretary-general its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC. Earlier, on Feb. 8, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the start of a preliminary examination of Mr. Duterte’s alleged crimes against humanity over his war on drugs.
Opposition senators in May last year and PCICC the next month asked the SC to void the withdrawal from the ICC. The SC held two oral arguments on the petitions, one in August and October.
But there has been no action taken since. March 12 was the last en banc session before the withdrawal takes effect.