Press Release
March 17, 2019

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on the Philippines' s exit from the ICC

The country's exit from the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an act to defend not Philippine sovereignty but the climate of killing and impunity in the country. It is President Rodrigo Duterte's desperate exit plan to escape international public accountability for the crimes of which he is accused. Hindi ito pagtataguyod ng ating soberanya. Ito ay pagtatanggol sa isang tiranya.

While it is a step back from our country's commitment to international treaty obligations on human rights and democracy, the ICC exit has no effect whatsoever on the ICC's examination of the criminal complaint filed against President Duterte. He can still be held liable for offenses committed while the Philippines was a signatory to the ICC. It will not discharge our country of its obligations while it was still a party to the said agreement. It will also not disable our country's cooperation with the ICC conducting criminal investigations which were initiated before the said withdrawal.

I'm sorry, Mr President, but you cannot evade calls for justice and accountability with a simple goodbye to the ICC.

If President Duterte is half the "fearless leader" he tries to portray himself to be, he should subject himself to the ICC's processes and face the complaint filed against him.

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