Friday, March 23, 2018

ICC to use force to investigate PH gov't, will not let go of Pres. Duterte

ICC will not give up. Not this time.
ICC Judges | Photo CTTO

Recently, the Presidential Spokesperson himself Harry Roque said before the press that the International Criminal Court (ICC) would not get any cooperation from Manila no matter how insistent it is to proceed with an announced “preliminary examination.”

This, after the ICC's Assembly of States President O-Gon Kwon has declared that he is “ready to fly to Manila to be involved in any dialogue with any authorities” as well as “to plead with the Philippine people to reconsider” the administration's withdrawal of the country the from the institution that has been established by the treaty of the Rome Statute, the ICC. 

In an interview on Thursday, March 22, with the Bloomberg TV Philippines’ “The Big Story”, the Assembly of States President was the guest of its anchor Roby Alampay.
ICC's Assembly of States President O-Gon Kwon | Photo CTTO

On the said news program, it can be noticed that O-Gon Kwon tends to avoid some questions when it comes to the institutions way of moving forward, or do they even have a choice, in case the country does not cooperate, given that the Malacañang Palace has already stated in one of its interviews, that their cooperation with the ICC should not be expected .

Nonetheless, Kwon insists that he is “ready to fly to Manila” as part of the international body’s endeavor in attempt to reclaim the trust of the Philippine government that impartiality and due process will be the premise of the ICC’s investigation.

“There are a lot of points that I can discuss with my friends in the Philippines,” Kwon told Roby Alampay of the “The Big Story”.

“With all due respect to Mr. (Harry) Roque and his Excellency President (Rodrigo) Duterte, in my humble opinion there seems to be some kind of misinformation as to the nature of the preliminary examination or complementarity, and the date on which the withdrawal will take effect,” Kwon added.
ICC's President Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi | Photo CTTO

The Assembly of States President was referring to the previous announcement made by the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

According to the ICC Prosecutor, her office is set to start with a “preliminary examination” of the Philippine situation in the wake of the complaints anent supposed extrajudicial killings, while stressing that the so-called “preliminary examination” is not an actual investigation.

Trying to clarify things out, Kwon stated that a preliminary examination “does not mean that the court has decided to have the jurisdiction over the situation of Philippines.”

Adding that “nor does it mean that it is, that the court has decided guilt or innocence at all. The pre-trial examination is a process in which the prosecutor considers whether there is (enough) information to proceed with the investigation, proper investigation. In such a case, still she needs authorization from the pre-trial chamber that consists of three judges”.
The ICC | Photo CTTO

The ICC official also made an emphasis on the principle of complementarity, saying that it is “one of the most important pillars of the ICC”.

“If the national domestic jurisdiction is able and willing to prosecute and address the alleged crime, there is no room for the International Criminal Court to intervene. So if the alleged crime is genuinely addressed by the national jurisdiction, then the ICC is not, will not proceed with [investigating] the crimes anymore,” Kwon explained.

When the “The Big Story” anchor  Roby Alampay asked if there would still be an examination should the Philippine government happens to refuse in cooperating, Kwon replied, “There is no time limit on the part of the preliminary examination, so I take it the prosecutor will endeavor in trying to get the sufficient information to make her decision whether or not to proceed with the information”.
ICC Building | Photo CTTO

Due to the court's protocol — of which the signatories were made aware of upon joining — that it would take a year before the withdrawal finally takes effect once a member decides to cut ties from it, Kwon said there is 'ample time' for the Filipino public to think about it.

In the event that an examination gets the chance to run its course, Kwon stated that since the withdrawal of the country is going to take effect after a year from the date of the notification to the United Nations, if and only if the ICC official has been allowed to continue with its investigation in a span of one year, the withdrawal will then be nullified.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and the ICC logo | Photo CTTO
“If by any chance the prosecutor is able to get the authorization to proceed with the investigation in a year’s time, then this withdrawal has no effect at all.”, Kwon said.

Watch the video of the interview below:

Source: InterAksyon

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