ICC exit removes protection for Filipinos-iDEFEND
The Philippines’ withdrawal from its membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC) means that an important legal mechanism enforcing some of the most advanced international cooperation for justice will be out of reach for Filipinos, especially those working in dangerous and conflict-ridden countries.
Although withdrawing from the ICC will have no effect on the cases of extrajudicial killings brought before it, President Duterte nevertheless sacrificed international legal protection for all Filipinos in a bid to save himself from prosecution. In the event of international terrorist attacks on Philippine soil, in the event of Chinese military aggression, and in the event that overseas Filipinos including peace keepers, are captured or killed in crossfires in conflict zones, the Filipino people would have had the best means to pursue justice.
Ending ICC membership is a huge setback in the country’s justice landscape. However the Senate failed to assert its right to concur in the withdrawal process and the Supreme Court likewise failed to respond to urgent petitions to review the Presidential act. Government has consistently demonstrated its contempt for justice, choosing instead to execute it from the barrel of a gun, through intimidation, coercion, war, divisiveness, and widespread terror among the populace. That path will most certainly lead to conflict and eventual failure of governance.
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