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Roque to insist on ICC’s non-jurisdiction over PH anti-drug war

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque is set to attend the International Criminal Court (ICC) Assembly of State Parties in New York, USA on December 7, 2017.

He will have the chance to speak before the body of prosecutors and insist that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the anti-drug war of the government because the courts in the Philippines are still able to investigate on complaints.

It can be recalled that some human rights groups such as the Amnesty International requested the ICC to conduct a preliminary examination of the drug-related killings in the Philippines.

Roque said that if the ICC will violate the principle of complementarity, there is a possibility for the Philippines to withdraw from the Rome Statute of ICC.

“Although the statement has not been finalized, my statement is we agreed to be a member of the ICC because of the principle of complementarity that the court will only exercise jurisdiction if our courts are unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction on any crime cognizable by the International Criminal Court. And to violate the principle of complementarity would be to violate the very basis of our consent to be bound by the Rome Statute. And if this will happen, then there may be a possibility that the Philippines, like the three other African states, may withdraw from the Rome Statute of the ICC,” said the presidential spokesperson. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Malacañang shrugs off ‘guilty’ verdict of International People’s Tribunal vs Duterte

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018

 

The panel of the International People’s Tribunal | Image grabbed from the Facebook page of International Peoples’ Tribunal PH

 

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang shrugged off the guilty verdict handed to President Rodrigo Duterte by the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) on charges of human rights violations.

According to presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the said tribunal which recently convened in Brussels, Belgium, is propaganda body comprised of left-leaning groups.

“That’s a sham decision. It has no official sanction. The validity of the findings will depend on the credibility of the tribunals. They appear to be a propaganda body of the international left, and therefore we set it aside as a useless piece of propaganda against the government,” said Roque.

IPT 2018 convened this week to hear cases filed against Duterte on his alleged violations against political, civil, economic, social rights, international humanitarian law and others.

The IPT findings will reportedly be submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), European Parliament and International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague.

“We heard the summary of testimonies of witnesses — many of them heart-wrenching, traumatic and horrific- experts and resource persons as well as the digest of wealth of data, information, facts, and other evidence. It is our consensus therefore, the defendants Duterte, trump and all other defendants are guilty of all the charges specified in the indictment and therefore they are accountable for crimes against humanity,” said the jury.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) said the International People’s Tribunal is initiated by the people to seek redress when traditional institutions are either limited or skewed.

NUPL President Edre Olalia also said in a statement that the IPT is a unique arena or platform for the urgent process of establishing the truth.

He also stood firm that IPT observes due process and defendants are notified and given the opportunity to participate and defend themselves.

Olalia added that IPT’s panel is composed of eminent jurors from different disciplines and the proceedings are conducted in an open and public trial. — Rosalie Coz

 

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Malacañang shrugs off latest ICC complaint vs. Duterte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

 

International Criminal Court; President Duterte via PCOO

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is again facing a lawsuit over his administration’s alleged human rights violations in line with his campaign against illegal drugs.

Through the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), surviving families of victims of drug-related killings and Rise Up for Life and Rights filed a communication and complaint against President Duterte to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday (August 28) for committing crimes against humanity.

The group alleged that the 4,410 deaths under the Duterte administration’s banner program “Oplan Double Barrel and its succeeding versions, and his very own public pronouncements inciting the killings are more than enough proof of the widespread and systematic attacks against civilians.”

The group said they have decided to elevate the matter to the ICC because of the President’s immunity to prosecution in Philippine courts and the families are losing confidence in the local justice system.

They hope that the ICC will take immediate action on their call to prosecute Duterte for his crimes against the people especially the poor.

Asked about the complaint, Malacañang through Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said the communication “does not mean anything” and so it won’t prosper.

“Anyone can file a communication. Even the Pope has a communication against him. So that doesn’t mean anything,” Roque said.

“Again, my fearless prediction is, it will not prosper dahil nga doon sa konsepto ng complimentarity. Hindi po dapat gumalaw ang ICC, unless local courts have proven to be unable or unwilling to exercise jurisdiction on these complaints,” he explained. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano and Rosalie Coz)

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Palace counters Pernia: Federalism won’t harm PH economy

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang reiterated that the shift to a federalism government would not have any adverse effect on the economy. This is after the country’s top economist cautioned that federalism could affect government finances.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the palace has already clarified the matter with socioeconomic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

“The shift to federalism, we reiterate, would have no adverse effect on the Philippine economy. Our budget would remain the same, as identified national projects would be devolved and transferred to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) of local government units. These projects include maintenance of barangay roads and bridges, water supply services, barangay health centers and daycare centers, solid waste disposal system of municipalities, among others,” he said.

Roque added that “The role of the national government would be to continue to implement Build, Build, Build projects and would hence be concentrated on policymaking.”

During a media interview, Pernia said that federalism could disrupt the administration’s infrastructure projects and the country’s fiscal situation.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to endorse to Congress the draft federal charter during his state of the nation address (SONA) on July 23. – Rosalie Coz / UNTV News and Rescue

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