Humabol pa! PNoy’s appointees bring Xi before ICC over South China Sea
Two former government officials appointed by ex-President Benigno Aquino III have filed a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Beijing’s bid to control the South China Sea.
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales accusd Xi of committing crimes against humanity in a communication submitted to the ICC on March 15, or two days before the Philippines’ exit from the tribunal became official.
Under its rules, the ICC still has jurisdiction on cases related to the Philippines until its withdrawal as a state party to the Rome Statute which created the tribunal took effect on March 17.
Del Rosario and Morales said the actions of Xi and other Chinese officials in seeking to gain control of the South China Sea “justify” the ICC’s involvement “as it affirsm one of the principles of the Rome Statute that ‘the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and their effective prosecution must be ensured.'”
The two former government officials, who were joined in the case by Filipino fishermen, said it is only the ICC who can make China accountable for its “atrociously inhumane actions.”
“The situations is both unique and relevant becayse it presents one of the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity’s history,” their statement read.
Del Rosario and Morales said China’s actions in the South China Sea “has seriously undermined the food and energy security of the coastal States in the South China Sea, including the Philippines,” as the livelihood of 320,000 Filipino fishermen has been affected.
In 2016, the International Arbitral Tribunal invalidated China’s sweeping claim of the South China Sea. However, President Rodrigo Duterte has refused to prod China to follow the ruling, saying it will lead to war.