May 16, 2018
Malacanang downplayed on Wednesday the petition filed by minority senators before the Supreme Court to declare invalid the Philippine withdrawal of its ratification of the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.
In an interview with reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque expressed belief that there was "no legal basis" on the filing of a petition for certiorari and mandamus before the high court.
"The President remains the chief architect of foreign policy," he said, noting that the issue could not be cured by certiorari.
Roque, a lawyer by profession, said a petition for certiorari could only be filed if there is grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
"You cannot allege that on matters of foreign affairs. The courts will always defer to the executive on matters of foreign affairs," Roque said.
He explained that the only requirement in entering into a treaty by a country is the concurrence of the Senate.
"There's no requirement if we will exit from the treaty," he added.
Opposition Senators Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV filed the petition before the Supreme Court, citing that it is invalid and ineffective for the Philippines to withdraw from the Rome Statute due to lack of concurrence from the Senate.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the country's withdrawal from the Rome Statute after the ICC initiated a preliminary examination against him for allegedly committing crimes against humanity due to his bloody war on illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS
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