MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, December 7, welcomed the conclusion of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it has no jurisdiction over the crimes allegedly committed by China in the West Philippine Sea.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the ICC decision was in line with the administration’s stand and that President Rodrigo Duterte chose an “effective mode” to resolve dispute “in a peaceful, expedient, and efficacious manner.”
“In contrast, the Morales-Del Rosario tandem resorted to an ineffective process, evidently for its propaganda value,” he said.
Former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morals and former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario in March 2019 filed the communication tagging Chinese President Xi Jinping as respondent for alleged crimes against humanity in the West Philippine Sea, including harassment against Filipino fishermen and marine environmental damage by Chinese ships.
In a report released on December 5, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that the crimes “allegedly committed do not fall within the territorial or otherwise personal jurisdiction of the Court,” adding that China is not a state party to the ICC.
Morales and Del Rosario, however, argued that the case is still possible, insisting that the Prosecutor “welcomes ‘new facts and evidence’ to proceed with the case and we are providing them.”
“This has only strengthened our resolve," the two officials said in a joint statement with Morales adding that “this is just the beginning.”
Panelo, however, refuted the former Philippine officials and hit their statement.
“Apparently wanting to still milk the issue for media mileage to advance their pretended nationalism, they are still bent in pursuing their wrong tact despite the rejection of their complaint,” Panelo said.
The Duterte administration has been constantly criticized for its lack of teeth in dealing with aggressions by China against Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea. – Rappler.com