Del Rosario clarifies ICC ruling: “The Prosecutor did not dismissed our communication.
Former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario belied reports that a prosecutor of the International Criminal Court junked their complaint against China in connection with the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“The ICC prosecutor did not dismiss our communication. The prosecutor welcomes new facts and evidence to proceed with the case and we are providing them. This has only strengthened our resolve,” del Rosario said in a statement.
For her part, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said:” Let them gloat in the meantime. This is just the beginning. Abangan.”
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the ICC dismissed the communication citing infirmity in jurisdiction.
“The Office concluded that the crimes allegedly committed do not fall within the territorial or otherwise personal jurisdiction of the Court,” read Bensouda’s report.
Del Rosario and Morales filed the communication last March, naming Chinese President Xi Jinping as respondent for crimes against humanity in the contested WPH.
But Bensouda said that a country’s Exclusive Economic Zone cannot be considered “part of territory”.
“The Office has concluded that a State’s Exclusive Economic Zone (and continental shelf) cannot be considered to comprise part of its ‘territory’ for the purpose of article 12(2)(a) of the (Rome) Statute,” Bensouda said.
“In the Office’s view, the EEZ (and continental shelf) cannot be equated to territory of a State within the meaning of article 12 of the Statute, given that the term ‘territory’ of a State in this provision should be interpreted as being limited to the geographical space over which a State enjoys territorial sovereignty,” Bensouda said.
In their communication, Morales and del Rosario claimed that China committed crimes “which involve massive, near-permanent, and devastating environmental damage across nations.”