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San Beda dean Ranhilio Aquino contradicts Duterte: Senate concurrence needed for PH’s withdrawal from ICC

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By John Carlo Cahinhinan

A member of the Constitutional Commission believes the Senate must concur with the executive branch’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute which created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a Facebook post dated June 27, San Beda Graduate School of Law dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino said the 1987 Constitution is clear that the Senate must concur in the ratification of a treaty before it enters into force for the Philippines.

He added that while the conduct of foreign affairs is a function of the executive branch, a treaty needs Senate action when it enters into force in the Philippines because it has the same binding effect as a statute.

The Senate ratified the Rome Statute in 2002.

“The participation of Senate ensures Legislative participation in what amounts to law-making,” Aquino said.

The dean said allowing the Senate to ratify the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC “is not a question of diluting the powers of the Executive, but of seeing to the non-dilution of legislative power by sole fiat of the Executive in respect to treaty-making or treaty-denunciation.”

The administration in March announced that the Philippines is withdrawing from the ICC after the tribunal’s chief prosecutor announced it is starting a preliminary examination on the country to check allegations of human rights abuse by the police due to the war on drugs.