Miriam: No available ICC seat for me in near future
MANILA, Philippines - Expect Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago to be in the Philippines for a while.
The senator, who has been elected as one of the 6 new judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), said that according to the ICC, she is not likely to be called to take her post anytime soon.
"[ICC says] there is no possibility I will be called in the near future. I imagine I will stay here until December or even next year," she told the attendees of the Credit Management Association of the Philippines (CMAP) induction meeting where she was a guest speaker.
Santiago also said she had written the president of the ICC and had requested to be the last of 6 judges called to take her post at The Hague. This is to avoid disappointing those who elected her as senator for a 6-year term, Santiago explained. She said the president allowed her request.
The senator said she will also ask the Commission on Elections to push through with declaring that only 12 seats will be up for grabs in the 2013 senatorial race, not 13. Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr earlier said the poll body needs to finalize the number of seats that are open for the 2013 race because if Santiago goes to The Hague, that would leave one more senatorial seat vacant. (Read: 12 or 13 senatorial seats? It's up to Miriam.)
The 5 other judges have since taken their oaths in the ICC.
New ICC law
Santiago also explained that neither she nor the ICC president knows exactly when she will be called because of a law in the ICC.
The law states that even if a judge is called to serve in the ICC for 9 years, he or she must stay in the position beyond this period if a pending case in which the judge has been part of has not yet been decided.
No seat currently exists for Santiago because of pending cases that require some judges to stay even past their 9 years.
The ICC has 18 judges at one time.
Santiago also made sure to poke at her critics, bashing those who started a petition asking that her election be discounted and that she be disqualified from the ICC.
"If they continue to aggravate me I will continue to stay in the Philippines," she said. - Rappler.com
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