MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Saturday urged Filipinos to support the "patriotic move" of former Philippine officials and fishermen who filed a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Xi and other Chinese officials allegedly committed crimes against humanity in implementing Beijing's "systematic plan to control the South China Sea," Filipino fishermen, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said in their complaint.
Lacson said if case prospers, it will boost the 2016 arbitral win of the Philippines.
"Unang una, patriotic move ang ginawa ng dalawa, dating Ombudsman Morales at dating Secretary del Rosario. At sundin natin bilang Pilipino na suportahan ang kanilang [complaint], kasi patriotic move yan," he told radio DWIZ.
(First of all, what former Ombudsman Morales and former Secretary Del Rosario did was a patriotic move. We should support their complaint because it was a patriotic move.)
"At kung sakaling magtagumpay sila, malaking boost yan sa arbitral ruling na panig sa atin kasi maski papano kasi ang arbitral ruling alam natin na unimplementable yan, di ma-enforce iyan."
(Should they win, it will be a big boost to the arbitral ruling, which we know is unimplementable, unenforceable.)
Lacson, however, left it to the ICC to decide whether it has jurisdiction over the case because China is not a member of the international body.
"Bahala ang ICC mag-decide noon. Kasi may provision diyan tungkol sa kung hindi miyembro o miyembro. Base sa nabasa ko, hindi absolute na kung 'di ka member, completely walang jurisdiction ang ICC," he said.
(Let the ICC decide. Because there's a provision regarding members or non-members. Based on what I read, it's not absolute that if you're not a member, the ICC doesn't have jurisdiction.
"May provisions doon, may qualifying circumstances kung saan meron silang pwede maging jurisdiction."
(There are provisions, qualifying circumstances where they could have jurisdiction.)
Lacson, meanwhile, said the Philippine's withdrawal from ICC did not need to go through the Senate, which ratified the treaty.
"Malinaw naman sa Constitution na hindi kailangan, ang nakasaad lang lahat na treaty na pipirmahan, papasok Senate ang magra-ratify bago pirmahan ng Pangulo," he said.
(It is clear in the Constitution that it was not needed. It only states that all treaties should be ratified by the Senate before the President signs it.
"Pero silent ang Constitution na pagka nag-withdraw o nagbalewala tayo ng treaty or kung anumang agreement ay dadaan sa Senado. So naka-pending sa Supreme Court (SC) yan, bahala ang SC mag-interpret."
(But the Constitution is silent on withdrawal of treaties should go through the Senate. It's pending at the Supreme Court, let the high court interpret.)
The Philippines effectively withdrew from ICC on March 17, a year after President Rodrigo Duterte unilaterally decided to pull out amid the international body's preliminary examination into his administration's war on drugs.