The preliminary examination into President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug crackdown will continue notwithstanding the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This was disclosed by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who stressed the court continues to have jurisdiction over the possible crime against humanity committed during the period the Philippines was a state party to the statute. He cited Article 127.2 of the Statute which was the prior ICC judicial ruling in the situation in Burundi. The Philippines was a party to the court’s Rome Statute from November 1, 2011 to March 16, 2019.
Malacañang has argued that the Philippines has never been a party to the Rome Statute, saying it should have been published in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation like a regular law. But publication in the Official Gazette is not among the steps in the treaty making process cited by the 2005 Supreme Court decision in Pimentel vs. Office of the Executive Secretary. Publication is also not among the requirements listed in “Philippine Treaty Law and Practice” and Executive Order No. 459, Providing For The Guidelines In The Negotiation of International Agreements and Its Ratification.