Dec 8, 2019 @ 16:20

Del Rosario lashes back: What country might Panelo be working for?

Former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario on Sunday lashed back at Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo for claiming that he and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales used an ‘ineffective process’ in challenging China’s occupation of the disputed West Philippine Sea.

“Former Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio Morales and I are endeavoring to work for our countrymen. Why then are we being criticized by Spokesperson Panelo? What country might he be working for?” del Rosario said in a message to reporters.

Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the conclusion of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it has no jurisdiction over the crimes allegedly committed by China in WPH.

In a statement, Panelo said the ICC decision was in line with the administration’s stand and that President Duterte chose an “effective mode” to resolve dispute “in a peaceful, expedient, and efficacious manner.”

“In contrast, the Morales-Del Rosario tandem resorted to an ineffective process, evidently for its propaganda value,” he said.

Recently, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda dismissed the communication filed by del Rosario and Morales against China.

In a report, Bensouda cited infirmity in jurisdiction as basis in junking the case.

“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.”

They stressed the damage happened as Xi implement “China’s systemic plan to take over the South China Sea.”

“These violations of China, through President Xi Jinping and other officials, have caused serious injury to (a) an identifiable group of Filipino nationals who depend on fishing for their livelihood; and (b) to present and future generations of inhabitants of the coastal countries in the South China Sea, including Filipino nationals, by accelerating a fisheries collapse and, consequently, a food shortage across several nations,” read the complaint.

Among the crimes punishable under the ICC are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.

Meanwhile, del Rosario belied reports that their communication was dismissed by an ICC prosecutor.

“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, Morales said:” Let them gloat in the meantime. This is just the beginning. Abangan.

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