Supreme Court resumes oral arguments on ICC withdrawal


Posted at Sep 04 2018 02:46 PM

MANILA - The Supreme Court on Tuesday resumed hearing oral arguments on a petition contesting the Philippines' withdrawal from the International Criminal Court.

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez will represent Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV who argued that the withdrawal should be invalidated as the Senate did not concur through a two-thirds vote.

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The senators last week skipped the first round of oral arguments after the high court denied their plea to be represented by De Lima who is currently detained on drug charges.

President Rodrigo Duterte in March pulled out Manila from the Rome Statute that created the ICC after the tribunal announced it would initiate a preliminary examination of alleged crimes against humanity under his war on drugs.

Solicitor General Jose Calida is expected to respond to the senators' plea as he argues for its dismissal on Tuesday.

The Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) had earlier argued before the top court that the withdrawal had no legal basis and was just a "whimsical and arbitrary" decision of the President.

A second communication has been filed before the international court, alleging Duterte committed murder over "the extra-judicial killings of thousands of Filipinos" and inhumane acts for "causing great suffering to the victims and their families."