Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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International Criminal Court

Senators goes to SC, impugn legality of PRRD’s move to withdraw from ICC

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Opposition senators on Wednesday filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to declare as invalid the decision of President Duterte to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The senators were Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV.

They stressed Mr. Duterte’s decision should be voided since it has no concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the 24 members of the Senate.

At the same time, the lawmakers petitioned the SC to compel the Department of Foreign Affairs(DFA) and the Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations to notify the United Nations Secretary-General that it is revoking the notice of withdrawal that it received on March 17, 2018.

The petitioners argued that the Office of the President and the DFA gravely abused their discretion in withdrawing the country’s membership in the ICC without the concurrence of at least two-thirds of the Senate under Article VII, Section 21 of the Constitution.

They added that the Rome Statute is a treaty validly entered into by the Philippines which has the same status as a law enacted by Congress.

As a law, the petitioners said, the withdrawal from the Rome Statute would require the approval of Congress.

“The Executive cannot abrograte or repeal a law. In the same vein, the Executive cannot unilaterally withdraw from a treaty or international agreement beause such withdrawal is equivalent to a repeal of a law,” the petitioners explained.

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