Press Release
March 18, 2019


With the Philippines ceasing to be a party to the International Criminal Court, effective yesterday, Senator Richard J. Gordon said becoming a signatory was a mistake in the first place.

Gordon, chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, explained that the country's justice system is working and the courts are functioning.

"The ICC is intended to be court of last resort, when there is a failure of a national justice. However, our justice system works, our courts are functioning. The prosecution of the policemen who killed Kian delos Santos illustrates that our justice system works," he said.

Gordon was not a senator when the treaty was submitted to the Senate for its concurrence in accordance with Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution.

"I was not a senator at the time the, but if I were, I would have voted against it. It has made us appear as a weak country," he said.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted on July 17 July 1998 and entered into force on July 1, 2002. The Philippines, through President Estrada, signed the Rome Statute on December 28, 2000.

There are several countries which have not signed the treaty, or signed it but have failed to ratify it, such as the USA, Israel, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In March last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing from ICC, shortly after the court's Office of the Prosecutor set a preliminary investigation on the complaint filed against him over allegations of state-sanctioned killings in his war on drugs. The withdrawal took effect last Sunday.

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