By GENALYN KABILING
MALACAÑANG is optimistic that the latest communication filed against President Duterte for alleged crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) would not prosper.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque pointed out that the international court could only investigate and prosecute international crimes when local courts are unwilling to do so.
“My fearless prediction is it will not prosper dahil nga doon sa konsepto ng complementarity,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“Hindi dapat gumalaw ang ICC unless local courts have proven to be unable or unwilling to exercise jurisdiction of these complaints,” he added.
The families of EJK victims have reportedly accused the President of committing crimes against humanity in the communication filed before the ICC. The complainants have also asked ICC to issue an arrest warrant against Duterte and provide protection and support to the witness pending the resolution of the case.
Roque however maintained that the new communication was not yet considered a complaint since the ICC has yet to act on the matter. He added that such communication filed against the President “does not mean anything.”
“That’s not a complaint, that’s a communication because it is still to be acted upon by the ICC. The procedure is different. Anyone can file a communication. Even the Pope has a communication filed against him,” he said.
The filing of communication against the President came five months after President Duterte announced the country’s pullout from the Rome Statute that created the ICC.
Duterte has complained about the “baseless” and “outrageous” attacks against him, violations of due process, among others, after the ICC initiated a preliminary examination into the alleged crimes against humanity committed in his drug war.
Duterte earlier said the ICC does not have jurisdiction over him, insisting that the Rome Statute was not effective and enforceable in the country due to lack of publication in the Official Gazette as required by the country’s law.