Press Release
July 22, 2021

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the SC ruling on petitions challenging the unilateral withdrawal of PH from the Rome Statute

I respect the decision of the Supreme Court in relation to the petition we in the Senate Minority filed challenging the Duterte administration's unilateral withdrawal from the Rome Statute.

I am glad that despite the dismissal of the petition, the Supreme Court nonetheless acknowledged that the president's power of withdrawal from treaties is not without limitation, and that the president may not unilaterally withdraw from treaties on which the Senate imposed conditions for its concurrence.

The Supreme Court has also pointed out that safeguards for human rights and protections against offenses addressed by the Rome Statute remain in place in the country, and that the withdrawal from the Rome Statute will not affect the liabilities of those charged before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for acts committed up to the date of withdrawal.

In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that withdrawal from the Rome statute will not affect the duty of the Philippine government to cooperate with the ICC in all criminal investigations and proceedings commenced prior to the withdrawal. This means that the withdrawal will not negate any liability for the alleged summary killings and other abuses committed in the course of the so-called War on Drugs.

I have some bad news for human rights violators in the country: They are not off the hook. They have nothing to celebrate. Sooner or later, they will have to face justice for the heinous acts they have committed against the Filipino people.

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