Robredo on PH plan to withdraw from ICC: We might lose our 'safety net' vs abusers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) —  Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday raised her concerns on the country's pending withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Robredo said the move may mean loss of a "safety net" against abusive officials.

"Inaalis natin iyong, ito kasi, parang safety net. Kapag mapang-abuso iyong mga opisyal, iyong pagiging signatory natin sa ICC, parang safety net natin na kung iyong mga opisyal natin hindi inaaksyunan iyong mga pang-aabuso sa loob, mayroon tayong madudulugan," she said at the turnover of a two-classroom building for Buhi Central School in Camarines Sur.

She added the withdrawal could be perilous for future generations.

"Delikado ito sa future generations, kasi paano kung naging mapang-abuso iyong nakaupo? Wala na tayong malalapitan. Kaya nakakabahala, nakakabahala iyong deklarasyon ng ating Pangulo na magwi-withdraw tayo sa ICC," Robredo said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to issue the notice of withdrawal, but the country has yet to file this.

Robredo also raised the country's 11-year effort to have the Rome Statute ratified by the Senate.

"Parang shining moment iyon kasi 11 years bago ito na-ratify sa Senado... Nagpapakita ito na isa tayo sa nagpapahalaga sa human rights," she said.

The Philippines signed the Rome Statute of the ICC in 2000 and ratified it in 2011, becoming its 117th State Party.

Roque formerly co-chaired the group that lobbied for the country's inclusion from the ICC.

READ: Roque on withdrawal from ICC: It saddens me, but I agree with Duterte

He, however, defended the government's move to withdraw from the international tribunal, saying the treaty was not published on the Official Gazette, which was required by a Supreme Court ruling.

The ICC, an intergovernmental organization that investigates cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression, was established by the Rome Statute, which was enforced in 2002.

Earlier, the ICC said the preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process to see if there is basis to proceed with an investigation.

READ: Duterte: PH to withdraw from ICC 'effective immediately'