Our position concerning the proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC) remains. The foreign institution has no — as it never had — jurisdiction over the affairs of the Republic of the Philippines and its people.
Hence, the development that a pre-trial chamber of the ICC has authorized an investigation into alleged crimes committed in our territory neither bothers nor troubles the President and his administration.
Speaking of investigation, it is just now that they have authorized the same, or more than two years since our official withdrawal from the Rome Statute took effect in March of 2019.
For this reason, there was nothing being criminally investigated by — or that was already under the consideration of — the “Court” (which is not the same as an auxiliary office or chamber of the ICC) when said withdrawal took effect. Pursuant to Article 127 of the Rome Statute, therefore, there is no longer any matter for the ICC to pursue.
We have repeatedly emphasized that the Rome Statute, being penal in nature, failed to comply with the publication requirement that affords due process to those which it seeks to affect. It is as if the said instrument never took effect in the country.
The timing of this development reveals that the ICC is bent on proceeding with a case against our government officials in violation of our Constitution and in contravention with the Rome Statute that created it.
It also reveals that the ICC is being utilized as a political and propaganda apparatus by those usual suspects who will do anything to dethrone the President.
No wonder the leading and powerful countries of the world have either not joined it or have withdrawn their membership therefrom.
While we expect that more theatrics will be employed by the detractors of the President as election season draws near, this blatant and brazen interference and assault on our sovereignty as an independent country by the ICC is condemnable.
We stress that we are able and willing to prosecute those who abuse their power and commit crimes against the citizenry if only genuine complainants come forward to the proper authorities instead of personalities who will use their plight for political ambitions.