MANILAMalacaAang on Tuesday shrugged off the new communication filed against President Rodrigo R. Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, noting that it will not prosper because local courts are still willing and able to exercise jurisdiction over them.
Reports showed that the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) had filed a communication before the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC accusing Duterte of committing crimes against humanity.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the communication filed by the NUPL doesn't mean anything.
That's not a complaint that's a communication because it's still to be acted upon by the ICC. Procedure is different. Anyone can file a communication. Even the Pope has a communication filed against him. So that doesn't mean anything, Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Again, my fearless prediction is it will not prosper dahil nga po dun sa konsepto ng complementarity. Hindi po dapat gumalaw ang ICC(The ICC should not do anything) unless local courts have proven to be unable or unwilling to exercise jurisdiction on these complaints, he added.
This is the second case filed against Duterte before the ICC.
He is also facing a communication filed by lawyer Jude Sabio. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Rep. Gary Alejano filed a supplemental complaint to Sabio's case in 2017.
Sabio, in his communication, cited the number of people allegedly killed by the so-called Davao Death Squad in Davao City and in the war on drugs, which began in June 2016.
Meanwhile, Trillanes and Alejano also cited Duterte's pronouncements on killing drug addicts.
Last February, the ICC Office of the Prosecutor bared that it would begin preliminary examination on the crimes against humanity linked to the administration's drug war.
The following month, Duterte announced that he has decided to withdraw the Philippines' ratification of the Rome Statute, a United Nations (UN) treaty creating the ICC.
Duterte cited baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks against him and his administration as a reason to withdraw as a state party.
Roque earlier emphasized that the President is not evading liability with his decision to withdraw from the ICC, noting that it can still proceed with its preliminary examination despite the withdrawal.
Citing Duterte, Roque said the ICC had no jurisdiction over him as the treaty is not effective or enforceable in the Philippines.
Roque said had the ICC respected the principle of complementarity, due process and the presumption of innocence, the President would not have decided to withdraw. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency