ICC pullout has no negative impact on PH, Tolentino says

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TACLOBAN CITY – Administration senatorial bet Francis Tolentino said the formal withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no serious implication for the country.

In an ambush interview in Tacloban City, Tolentino said he supports President Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute that created the ICC amid its preliminary examination on the government’s drug war.

“Tama po yung withdrawal kasi po ang Presidente ang chief architect ng foreign policy,” he said.

Tolentino said the ICC was being used as a tool by the President’s critics and rivals to discredit the government. “Kung titingnan natin, talagang nanggigil lang yung kalaban, yung mga oposisyon,” he said.

Tolentino, who has a masteral degree in Public International Law from the University of London, said thay only 30 percent of the countries in the world are members of ICC.

The former political adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte added that superpower nations such as the United State, China, and Russia were either non-members or have already bolted from the ICC’s jurisdiction.

“Seventy percent ng population ng planeta natin ay hindi represented yung countries nila. Thirty percent lang ang represented sa ICC. So speaking of big countries, like Russia, China, USA,” he said.

Tolentino said joining or leaving ICC could be likened to an “elective subject” in college which has no bearing at all.

“Elective nga parang sa college, kahit hindi mo kuknin yung kurso, ga-graduate ka,” he said.

He added that leaving ICC has no bad implications on the aspect of global trade since the country’s major trading partners such as US and China are non-members of the international tribunal.

“Walang relations sa China, major trading partner. Yung relation sa US, major trading partner. Non-member din sila ng ICC. Wala akong nakitang negative effect,” he said.