Without ICC treaty, PHL can’t sue China if it invades Panatag, Scarborough — Carpio

admin   •   October 10, 2018   •   3117

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011.
REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has concluded the oral arguments on the petition questioning the validity of the country’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It was the Executive Department’s turn to argue that there is no explicit constitutional provision that states Senate concurrence is required in treaty withdrawal.

Solicitor General Jose Calida explained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the Constitution, but only exercised his power as the chief architect that crafts and implements foreign policy.

But Justice Antonio Carpio said the ICC treaty is the only legal deterrent that can protect the country from China’s abuses, specifically, the Kampala Amendment which activated the court’s jurisdiction on crimes of aggression.

“If China invades Pag-asa [Island] and puts up a naval base in Scarborough Shoal, we will not be able to sue President Xi Jin Ping and his military leaders because we have withdrawn already from the ICC, correct?
I mean we cannot take advantage of this legal defense anymore because we are withdrawing from the Rome Statute.

Calida suggested that there might be other international treaties that can be used, but Carpio insisted otherwise.

“This is the only treaty in the world that holds political and military leaders of a state that commits the crime of aggression,” Carpio said.

The Philippines withdrew from the treaty in March 2018 via note verbale sent to the United Nations amid the preliminary examinations on Duterte’s war on drugs by ICC prosecutor Fathou Bensouda.

But according to constitutional law professor Tony La Viña, whether or not the high court rules in favor of the president, investigations on his controversial drug war will continue.

“Kahit sabihin ng Supreme Court natin na valid ang pag withdraw ni Duterte di ba? For any case filed against him, for acts he committed noong member pa tayo, continue iyon. Ang consequence lang ng pagwithdraw natin sa ICC ay any acts committed after April or March, when it takes effect, is no longer covered,” La Viña said.

The petitions asking for the nullification of the withdrawal were filed by opposition senators and the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court. — Mai Bermudez

China tests its soft power in Southeast Asia amid coronavirus outbreak

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020

China called for solidarity on Thursday (February 20) in a special meeting to discuss the coronavirus with Southeast Asian nations as it faces criticism for its handling of the outbreak elsewhere.

The hastily-called summit in Laos signaled China is seeking support from smaller neighbors into which it has poured billions of dollars in infrastructure and investment in recent years.

Wang urged Singapore to ease its travel ban on Chinese visitors, with other nations likely to face similar pressure at the meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Even as the meeting kicked off, Thailand on Thursday issued a travel advisory urging citizens to avoid non-essential travel to China and advised those already there to leave, hinting that flights to China could be further restricted

Beijing has been criticized for its handling of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, which emerged from the city of Wuhan in Hubei province in recent months and killed at least 2,000.

Travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease have idled much of the world’s second-largest economy and choked key elements of President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of railways, ports, and highways.

(Production: Jiraporn Kuhakan, Feline Lim)

China posts sharp drop in new coronavirus cases after criteria change

UNTV News   •   February 20, 2020

Mainland China reported on Thursday (February 20) the lowest number of confirmed cases of a new coronavirus since late January, partly because of a change in diagnostic criteria for patients in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak.

China had 394 new confirmed cases on Wednesday (February 19), the National Health Commission (NHC) said, sharply down from 1,749 cases a day earlier and the lowest since Jan. 23.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 74,576.

How cases are diagnosed and confirmed has had a big impact on official tallies of cases, and changes in the method have raised questions about the extent to which daily tallies accurately reflect the state of the outbreak.

The new coronavirus emerged in the city of Wuhan, the capital of the central province of Hubei, in December, having apparently been passed to people from wildlife sold illegally in a market.

(Production: Thomas Suen)

China warns of sustained virus impact on poultry, eggs supply amid rising death toll

UNTV News   •   February 18, 2020

China’s supply of poultry and egg products is likely to be hit in the second and third quarters as the coronavirus outbreak has had a severe impact on the industry, agriculture ministry official Yang Zhenhai told a State Council briefing on Tuesday (February 18).

The world’s second-largest poultry producer, China had been ramping up output to fill a meat shortage after the African swine fever epidemic, which began in 2018, decimated its pig herd.

Poultry prices have plunged this year and restrictions on moving livestock and extended holidays in many areas have paralyzed the supply chain. Farmers have been left with large inventories of birds and eggs even as demand plunged as restaurants and canteens stay shut.

Yang said that since the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to more than 1,800 deaths, live poultry markets have been closed, transportation of baby poultry and live poultry has been curtailed and slaughterhouses have been shut down. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Thomas Suen)

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