By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate Minority Bloc is bent on defending their petition questioning President Duterte’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the upcoming oral arguments set by the Supreme Court (SC) on July 24 and eyes detained senator, Leila de Lima, as its counsel.
Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon said their bloc is all set to assert their position that the Senate’s concurrence is needed in the termination of any treaty or international agreement – in this case, the ICC.
It can be recalled that 14 senators, in February 2017, signed Senate Resolution No. 289, expressing the sense of the Chamber that termination of, or withdrawal from, treaties and international agreements concurred in by the Senate shall be valid and effective only upon its concurrence.
“That expresses the position of the Senate that the Senate’s concurrence must be secured in case of withdrawal of a treaty to make it valid,” Drilon said in a press conference.
Drilon, likewise, said the minority has requested Sen. De Lima to be the Minority Bloc’s counsel in the oral arguments.
De Lima is detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City over allegations of being involved in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“We have not received word from her (De Lima). Physically, she must be allowed to argue with us. She is our counsel of choice, if she accepts our engagement,” said Drilon.