By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday voiced out her concerns over the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), citing its serious implications on Filipinos.
Robredo, who was a human rights lawyer, said the government’s withdrawal from ICC may imply that Filipinos no longer uphold human rights and freedom.
“Iyong pag-alis natin doon, marami siyang implications, eh. Ang implications, hindi na ba tayo naniniwala doon,” she told reporters in Dagupan, Pangasinan.
(Our withdrawal has several implications. One of the implications is that we may be seen that we no longer believe in human rights.)
“Ang mas malalang implication, hindi na tayo naniniwala na karapat-dapat ipakipaglaban iyong karapatan ng bawat Pilipino,” Robredo stressed.
(The worse implication is we no longer believe that we should fight for the rights of every Filipino.)
The Vice President made the statement on the sidelines of the Kaya Natin caravan held at the University of Luzon in Dagupan. She was asked by reporters to react to the country’s official withdrawal from ICC.
Robredo said she felt sad and found it “unfortunate” that the Philippines left the ICC, the body that launched a preliminary examination last year of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war.
The lady official recalled that the Philippines was “very active” in upholding human rights after it ratified the Rome Statute in 2011, which put the country under the jurisdiction of the ICC.
“Kasi alam natin na makakabuti na parang may framework na sinusundan para sisiguruhin na iyong mga bansang kasali, sinusunod niya iyong basic tenets hindi lang ng human rights, pero ng marami pang ibang mga protection ng freedoms and liberties,” she said.
(Because we know it would be good to have a framework for member countries to ensure the basic tenets, not only of human rights, but also the protection of freedoms and liberties are followed.)
The pullout from the ICC took effect on March 17, Sunday one year after the government’s written notice of withdrawal was received by the United Nations secretary-general.
The withdrawal, however, does not stop the ICC from continuing its preliminary examination into Duterte’s alleged crimes against humanity in connection with his drug war.