Philippines makes withdrawal from ICC official, submits notice to UN

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Sen. Allan peter Cayetano answers questions from the media during a briefing at the Malacanang Palace in this file photo taken on October 28, 2016. — KRIZJOHN ROSALES/PHILIPPINE STAR

The countdown for the one-year withdrawal period of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) started Friday, March 16, as the country formally transmitted its notice to the international body that it has decided to opt out of the Rome Statute.

“The decision to withdraw is the Philippines’ principal stand against those who politicize and weaponize human rights, even as its independent and well-functioning organs and agencies continue to exercise jurisdiction over complaints, issues, problems and concerns arising from its efforts to protect its people,” the letter addressed to UN Secretary-General António M. Guterres stated.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said the withdrawal was formally conveyed in a note verbale that Philippine Permanent Representative Teodoro Locsin Jr. handed over to the UN Secretary General Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti in New York. — Camille A. Aguinaldo