“Powerful states, including the US and the UK, have resisted attempts to give the ICC a power which can affect military freedom.
Again, President Rody Duterte proved right his keen geopolitical foresight in pulling out from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), since recent developments have proved it will become a fringe body that only goes after developing nations.
Rody had complained about the ICC’s preliminary examination of the crimes against humanity complaints slapped against him based on figures cobbled up by his political enemies.
The data used by lawyer Jude Sabio, who is among the vicious characters in the stable of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, was derived from overlapping media reports and misrepresented figures of the police on the war on drugs which is Rody’s flagship campaign.
To justify the yellow mob’s extrajudicial killings allegations, Sabio mixed up drug traffickers who died from legitimate police operations and killings reported to the police which included homicide and other cases unrelated to the anti-narcotics drive.
In withdrawing from the ICC, Rody called on other signatories of the politically-biased organization to follow the Philippines’ lead.
Now the call is resonating throughout the world after White House National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened to sanction the ICC after the global Tribunal announced an investigation into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.
Bolton said in a speech during a gathering in Washington DC that the court, which is based in The Hague in The Netherlands, is “illegitimate” and that “for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”
Bolton’s statement carry much weight, particularly among US allies who may even be pressured by the Americans to likewise withdraw their support to the ICC.
“The International Criminal Court unacceptably threatens American sovereignty and US national security interests,” Bolton said. He added the US “will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.”
Strangely, Bolton’s words sounded like echoing Rody’s warning against external interference in his anti-narcotics campaign.
Bolton warned the ICC against probing its allies such as Israel and Britain.
A damning report about Britain’s role in the Iraq war launched after the 911 terror attack revealed British Prime Minister Tony Blair exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq to drum up support for the 2003 US-led invasion.
The Chilcot Report has led to intensified calls for Blair to be prosecuted at the ICC for his role in starting the Iraq War.
War atrocities are not covered by the ICC since it has no jurisdiction over crimes of aggression.
Powerful states, including the US and the UK, have resisted attempts to give the ICC a power which can affect military freedom.
“Bolton’s words sounded like echoing Rody’s warning against external interference in his anti-narcotics campaign.
During the 1998 negotiations on the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, many of the 160 states attending argued for the Court to be given jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The US and the UK led the vehement opposition to such.
A compromise was struck in which the crime of aggression was included in the Rome Statute as one of the core crimes under ICC jurisdiction, along with war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide. However, the treaty stated that the Court would not exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression until a definition of the crime, along with the conditions under which the court could exercise jurisdiction, had been agreed on.
None of the three superpowers — China, Russia and the US — is a member of the ICC and the Tribunal has long been accused of being a court to persecute African leaders since 90 percent of defendants brought before the ICC have been Africans.
Whichever way the current strife between the US and the ICC go, the Philippines will be better off with Rody’s decision to abandon the useless Tribunal.
The ICC squaring off with the US will mean that it loses much of the key support it needed to survive.
If it accedes to the American pressure, the more that it will prove Rody’s accurate assessment of its bias to poor developing nations.
Regardless of its fate, Rody proved himself correct in determining that the Philippines and other countries as well are better off without the ICC.