See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Politics

Duterte to deport any ICC official investigating his rights record

Many have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Duterte’s deadly drug war.


Written by

Updated: March 19, 2019

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors will be denied entry and deported if they try to enter the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity, Malacañang said on Monday.

“Certainly we will not allow any attempt at interfering with the sovereignty of this country,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters a day after the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became official.

The President withdrew the Philippines from the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal last year after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she had opened a preliminary examination of information brought against the Philippine leader about thousands of extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs.

Investigation can go on

Under ICC rules, the Philippines’ withdrawal took force one year after it told the United Nations that it was quitting the tribunal.

Legal experts, however, have said the Philippines’ withdrawal will not stop the ICC from investigating the President for possible crimes against humanity because the alleged killings took place during the country’s membership in the court.

The President has made it clear his administration will not cooperate with ICC prosecutors.

Panelo said on Monday that ICC prosecutors could come into the country as visitors but not as investigators.

“I will smile at them and tell them nicely, ‘You cannot do it here. If you persist, you will be deported,’” Panelo said

He said immigration officials had the discretion to deny entry to foreigners found to be attempting to violate the country’s laws.

Panelo noted that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the United States would withdraw or deny visas to ICC prosecutors investigating possible war crimes by US soldiers or US allies in Afghanistan.

Panelo also dismissed the claim of lawyer Jude Josue Sabio, who brought the information against the President in the ICC, that the tribunal could investigate the President even after the Philippines’ withdrawal.

He said the President’s position was “unequivocal and inflexible”—the ICC had never acquired jurisdiction over the Philippines.

The reason: the Rome Statute that underpins the ICC, although ratified by the Senate, was never published in the Official Gazette.

‘Warped reasoning’

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima scoffed at Panelo’s position, calling it “wishful thinking and warped reasoning.”

In a statement, De Lima said only a country that admitted being a member of the ICC could withdraw from the Rome Statute.

“If true to its conviction that the Philippines never became a state party to the Rome Statute, the Duterte administration should not have withdrawn, since there was nothing to withdraw. Yet it did, thus recognizing the status of the Philippines as a state party to the Rome Statute since 2011,” De Lima said.

International justice

University of the Philippines (UP) professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan, president of the Philippine Society of International Law, said the ICC could investigate the Duterte administration for atrocities committed while the Philippines was member of the tribunal.

“For acts committed during the time we are a member, the ICC continues to acquire jurisdiction. On matters that are already under examination while we are a member, it continues,” said Pangalangan, whose husband, former UP law dean Raul Pangalangan, serves on the ICC. 

Human Rights group Amnesty International also said the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC would not hamper international investigations into Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs.

In a statement, Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said the Duterte administration’s withdrawal from the ICC was “a futile attempt to evade international justice.”

“The court will continue to investigate those responsible for crimes committed during the so-called war on drugs and has ways and means to investigate, even if the Philippines will not cooperate with it,” Bequelin said.

He said the Philippines’ withdrawal would not change the fact that those responsible for crimes under international law committed during the war on drugs would be “held to account in the ICC or through other international justice initiatives.”

Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/173704/palace-icc-prosecutors-who-come-to-probe-duterte-to-be-deported#ixzz5ia3HKhAP



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Philippine Daily Inquirer
About the Author: The Philippine Daily Inquirer is one the country’s most credible and influential newspapers with over 500 awards and citations.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Politics

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam condemn Sunday violence by protesters

Protesters were also attacked by a mob in a department store. Saying that violence would only breed more violence, with everyone suffering as a result, a grim-faced Carrie Lam and her cabinet members on Monday (July 22) publicly condemned the separate acts of violence that shook Hong Kong on Sunday night, the vandalism committed by anti-extradition protesters on a Chinese liaison office, and the brutal attack on protesters and train passengers by an armed mob at Yuen Long Station. At a press conference on Monday afternoon, the Chief Executive blasted the group of radical protesters who had vandalised the exterior of Beijing’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun, calling it a blatant challenge to national sovereignty. Mrs Lam, who was flanked by key members of her admin


By The Straits Times
July 23, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

China releases white paper on Xinjiang

Xinjiang is a controversial Muslim majority province home to vast internment camps built by Beijing. The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has never been a state called “East Turkistan” so the separatist forces’ attempts to incite the Uygurs seeking independence in the name of “East Turkistan” is just a political move to split China, according to a white paper released on Sunday. The State Council Information Office issued the white paper on historical matters concerning Xinjiang. In more recent times, hostile forces in and outside of China, especially separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, have tried to split China and break it apart by distorting history and facts, according to the white paper. Xinjiang was formally included into Chinese territory during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) and the central government of all dynasties maintained jurisdiction ov


By China Daily
July 23, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Abe aims to revise Constitution following election victory

Revising Japan’s pacifist constitution was one of Abe’s campaign promises. Following the results of the upper house election on Sunday in which the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won more than a majority of the contested seats, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the LDP, will focus on the implementation of his campaign promises. Abe aims to hold a national referendum on constitutional revision by September 2021, when his tenure as LDP president expires. The government will also start full-fledged discussions on how to deal with a U.S.-proposed coalition of the willing to guard the Strait of Hormuz in the Middle East. Abe held talks with Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday afternoon to confirm that the ruling coalition will take all possible measures to manage t


By The Japan News
July 23, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Nearly 20,000 illegal Nepali workers in Malaysia can return home

Local authorities announce general amnesty. Thousands of Nepali migrant workers, who have violated immigration rules in Malaysia and are liable to legal action, will be able to return home because the Malaysian government has announced a general amnesty scheme for undocumented foreigners. The five-month-long amnesty scheme—called Program Back for Good—will provide illegal foreigners, including thousands of Nepali workers, an opportunity to return to their respective home countries before the Malaysian government cracks down on them and makes arrests. An estimated 15,000-20,000 Nepali migrant workers who are overstaying their visit or are living without valid documents in Malaysia can make use of the latest amnesty. “There is no exact data on the number of Nepali wo


By The Kathmandu Post
July 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

The Afghan prism in Pakistan – US relations

Despite their best efforts, the Afghan question still clouds US – Pakistan relations. Despite the Indian media’s assumptions of a US strategic volte-face, Islamabad would do well to acknowledge that the Trump administration still views its relations with Pakistan largely through the prism of Afghanistan. President Donald Trump’s desire for an early end to America’s longest war is the principal reason for his invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has played a key role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and the US-Taliban talks. These have reportedly made encouraging progress over the past few months. An agreement on the withdrawal of US-Nato troops has evidently been reached between the US and the Afghan Taliban, although no timetable for the withdrawal has been finalised and it is not clear if the troop withdrawal would be commenced before, during or after a political settlement i


By Dawn
July 21, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Ruling bloc set to keep majority in Japan

The move has significant impact on any attempts to rewrite Japan’s pacifist constitution. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are set to win the majority of the 124 seats up for grabs in the House of Councillors election, according to tallies by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday night after polls closed at 8 p.m. The ruling bloc is expected to maintain its majority in the 245-member upper house, taking into account the 70 seats it holds that were not up for election this year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on the verge of securing his sixth successive national election victory, is expected to move forward on issues concerning the consumption tax rate hike and the amending of the Constitution. Abe’s current term as LDP president expires in September 2021. Some LDP members were concerned that the Abe administration wo


By The Japan News
July 21, 2019