Sat. Jul 24th, 2021

THE Supreme Court has sided with President Rodrigo Duterte in the chief executive’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) without concurrence by the Senate.

(photo courtesy: http://www.mb.com.ph)

In an en banc ruling promulgated last March but released this week, the Supreme Court dismissed several petitions questioning Duterte’s decision to withdraw Philippine membership from the ICC, with the high court saying the Senate itself did not pass a resolution questioning the President’s move.

“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 were composed of opposition 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).

Also, the Supreme Court said the Philippine judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners.

As for PCICC, the Supreme Court said the group did not have a resolution from its members that authorizes its leadership to represent its members.

Furthermore, in ruling in favor of Duterte, the Supreme Court 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 said.

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