'Bastos yan': Duterte urges member states to leave ICC

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2018 03:16 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2018 06:11 PM

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MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday said he will convince other signatories to the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), to "get out" of the agreement. 

In a speech before this year's graduating class of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, Duterte said the Rome Statute was "sponsored" by the European Union.

"And I will convince everybody now under the treaty sa ICC, get out. Bastos 'yan. It was not a document prepared by anybody. It's EU-sponsored," the President added. 

Duterte again also insisted that his withdrawal of the country from ICC was already in effect.

"Sabi naman nitong ibang ugok, mga Senador pa naman, it would take about 1 year bago ma-effective 'yang withdrawal... If it is not published, there is no law. So there is no reason to withdraw from something which is not existing," Duterte said.

The ICC has started a preliminary examination on the charges filed by lawyer Jude Sabio against Duterte in connection with the administration's campaign against illegal drugs. The President announced the Philippines' move to withdraw from the ICC after this.

The ICC last Friday released a statement in response to Duterte's announcement, urging the Philippines not to push through with its plan to withdraw its ratification of the treaty that created the tribunal.

While Duterte's claims that the ratified treaty should have been published in the Official Gazette in order for it to take effect, the Center for International Law, co-founded by now Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, said otherwise. 

In a statement, the CenterLaw said the requirement for publication is no longer necessary because the treaty became effective when the Senate gave its concurrence. The Philippines signed the Rome Statute in 2000 and ratified and endorsed it in 2011.