High Court throws out petitions vs Duterte move to withdraw PH from ICC

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THE Supreme Court en banc has dismissed the petitions questioning President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without concurrence by the Senate.

The en banc ruling promulgated last March and released this week even said that Senate itself did not pass a resolution blocking or questioning the country’s withdrawal from the ICC based on Duterte’s decision,

“Thus the Senate’s inaction itself precludes a source from which petitioners senators can claim a right to require Senate concurrence to withdrawing from the Rome Statute,” said the Supreme Court.

The petitioners who questioned Duterte’s move were Senators Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, and Risa Hontiveros; and former senators Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th and Antonio Trillanes 4th; and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Courts (PCICC).

The Supreme Court also said the PCICC could not claim to represent its members, as it did not have a resolution authorizing its leadership to act on the case.

In ruling in favor of Duterte, the Supreme Court also said the President, “as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.”

“Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law which authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” the Supreme Court added.

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