Philippines gives official notice of International Criminal Court withdrawal

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According to worldwide law, Duterte and the Philippines are under the jurisdiction of the ICC as a result of being a member of the court, and withdrawing would not change that jurisdiction retroactively.

Consequently, the Philippines does not need to adhere to the required one-year waiting period as outlined in the Rome Statute.

"It is doubly lamentable that members of the worldwide community, who include our own partners in the war against terror, have allowed themselves to be used as pawns by these individuals and organizations in undermining our own efforts to restore the rule of law", Cayetano added.

In a statement, the global court noted Manila's intention to withdraw based on news reports but emphasized that it has yet to be notified by the United Nations Secretary-General, the depositary of the Rome Statute.

The decision to withdraw was a "principled stand against those who politicize and weaponize human rights", the letter added.

"In short, since the ICC has already commenced with proceedings regarding Pres. Duterte's war on drugs, it has the authority to proceed and the Philippine government has the obligation to cooperate with an investigation, regardless of the notice of withdrawal", he added.

THE withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) may result in the "beginning of the end" for the international institution, as more countries might follow suit while non-member nations might be discouraged from joining, presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. said yesterday.

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Sister Mary John Mananzan, a Benedictine nun who helped organize the Movement Against Tyranny opposition group, said Duterte's withdrawal from the ICC was "cowardly".

The president of the court's governing body, the Assembly of State Parties (ASP), expressed concern at the move by Manila.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday (March 16) urged the Philippines not to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, as it warned that quitting the court would have no impact on ongoing proceedings.

Earlier, the ICC clarified that their preliminary investigation, which was announced in February, was only a process of determining whether there is sufficient basis to continue with an actual investigation.

"Saving his own skin has taken precedence over the long-term commitment made by the Philippines state to human rights", Tino said.

"The acts allegedly committed by me are neither genocide nor war crimes", he continued.

They said Duterte's decision was an admission of guilt and a sign that he was panicking.

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But he soon changed his tune, telling security forces not to cooperate in any global investigation, and that "not in a million years" would the ICC have jurisdiction.

It also could have forestalled a showdown with the United Nations body by reassuring the worldwide community of its willingness to conduct thorough and impartial investigations into allegations of extrajudicial killings.

Under Article 127 of the Rome Statute, a state party's withdrawal from the treaty can only take effect a year after the written notification is received by the UN Secretary-General.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque cautioned that there might be an "avalanche" of countries leaving the ICC while other nations are likely to refuse to join the global court now.

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