MANILA – Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday said lawmakers' proposal for the government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) needs to undergo closer scrutiny.
"(The proposal) needs a serious study on our part at the DOJ (Department of Justice), considering we are no longer members (of the ICC)," Remulla said.
The House of Representatives has earlier referred to its Committee on Justice House Bill (HB) No. 1477, which urges the government to cooperate with the ICC.
The bill was authored by House Committee on Human Rights chairperson Bienvenido "Benny" M. Abante Jr. and 1-Rider Party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo L. Gutierrez
Abante's office explained that the resolution stressed that the Philippine Constitution declares that "the State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect of human rights."
HB 1477 states that the Philippine government has demonstrated that it "respects the rule of international law and recognizes the proceedings of the ICC" as evidenced by its initial request to the ICC to defer its investigation, as well as its subsequent petition to the ICC Appeals Chamber.
It also pointed out that despite the country's withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the jurisdiction of the ICC was reinforced by the Supreme Court of the Philippines when it rendered a judgment stating that "the ICC retains jurisdiction over any and all acts committed by government actors until March 17, 2019."
The resolution thus urges the appropriate government departments "to extend their full cooperation to the ICC Prosecutor with respect to its investigation of any alleged crime within the jurisdiction of the ICC."
Meanwhile, DOJ spokesman Mico Clavano said the DOJ "will watch the discourse to be held by the committee on the House resolution.”
“It is too early to comment as this has simply set the ball rolling on discussions," he said. (PNA)