Press Release
August 25, 2011

Legarda Hails Senate Concurrence on ICC Treaty Ratification

The chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the Senate's concurrence on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), marking the country's official entry into it.

"I hail the Senate in wasting no time in putting its stamp of approval on the treaty after President Aquino's signing of the instrument of ratification. I also laud Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for ably sponsoring the ICC treaty," Legarda said.

"It is a step in the right direction, considering that the Philippines is a thriving and robust democracy. This will strengthen our stand in protecting human rights, including the right to human life and dignity, and will bring a strong message that we will never tolerate impunity," the Senator added.

The Instrument of Ratification of the treaty was signed by the President last May 6, 2011 and submitted to the Senate thereafter for concurrence. Under Section 21, Article VII of the Constitution, "No treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate."

After committee deliberations led by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Rome Statute of the ICC, it was reported out to the Senate plenary, with Legarda as co-sponsor, on Tuesday (August 16).

The Rome Statute is the legal basis for establishing the permanent International Criminal Court. It was adopted on July 17, 1998 by 120 States.

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. It is a court of last resort that will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national proceedings are not genuine. It only tries those accused of the gravest crimes.

Recently, the United Nations Security Council referred to the ICC the case of Libya, a non-state party to the ICC. In reaction to this, Legarda said that this was a positive development since Filipinos who may become victims of atrocities brought by the growing unrest in Libya could be provided with the necessary legal remedy through the ICC.

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