Press Release
March 7, 2011

Legarda Welcomes ICC President for Briefing on Rome Statute

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations today welcomes Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court (ICC), for a lecture on the ICC and the Rome Statute at the Senate.

"We are honored to have with us no less than the President of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, as a primary resource person to share with the committee his knowledge and experiences on the Rome Statute," Legarda said.

The ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is based on a treaty, the Rome Statute, which governs its jurisdiction and functioning.

"The Philippines shares the principles upon which ICC's mandate is anchored upon. It is our fundamental duty, as articulated in our Constitution, to protect human rights, including the right to human life and dignity, and we remain steadfast in our policy to condemn and penalize perpetrators of the most atrocious acts," she added.

The Senator noted that as a nation that gravely condemns the most heinous acts against humans, the Philippines now has a law, Republic Act 9851, that defines and penalizes crimes against international humanitarian law, genocide and other crimes against humanity.

Legarda added that the country, by Mr. Song's visit, can learn from the wisdom of ICC's experiences.

"The visit of Judge Song comes at a most opportune time given ICC's growing role in addressing the most serious crimes of international concernógenocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression," she said.

"As millions of Filipinos are deployed or reside in various parts of the world, we cannot help but be deeply concerned with the events that occur in foreign lands especially when circumstances become a threat to the lives and safety of our citizens. The current situation in Libya, for instance, where thousands of our countrymen remain trapped amidst the continuing unrest, makes us all the more persistent and eager in seeking ways to strengthen the protection of our citizens' life, welfare and rights," Legarda concluded.

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