THE FOLLY OF WITHDRAWING FROM THE I.C.C. | Lagman counts 6 ‘dire’ implications

March 15, 2018 - 2:28 PM
File photos of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman (left) and presidential spokesman Harry Roque. Both human rights lawyers, they're now on opposite sides of the debate over the relevance of the ICC in the global rights setting. INTERAKSYON FILE

MANILA – Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman has listed what he described as “six dire implications and consequences” of the Duterte-initiated Philippine withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He shared on Thursday such “adverse implications,” adding to the many warnings aired by various sectors since Malacañang Palace made the announcement of the withdrawal on Wednesday afternoon.

Here they are:

1. President Duterte’s refusal to be investigated by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity is a virtual admission of culpability since innocence does not select or discriminate a forum.

2. Duterte cannot overcome overwhelming evidence against him consisting of his own incriminating utterances of instigation and condonation, and unassailable records of extrajudicial killings consequent to his deadly war on drugs.

3. Summary killings related to the violent campaign against drug suppliers and users will continue unabated. With the ICC kicked out, there will be no more major independent monitors or censors to rein in or guard against atrocities with imposable sanctions.

4. Subversion of the rule of law will persist. The ICC exemplifies adherence to the rule of law which Duterte has rejected.

5. Violations of human rights will worsen. Detaching from the Rome Statute is abandoning a global bastion for the protection of human rights.

6. The international community will lose trust in the Philippines because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states.