Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that the USA has imposed visa restrictions on a number of officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of ongoing inquiries into war crimes committed by the U.S. in the occupation of Afghanistan. "The position of the president is unequivocal and inflexible".
In a statement Tuesday, Assembly of States Parties president O-Gon Kwon of the Republic of Korea said he was hoping that the withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute was only "temporary".
Duterte had slammed what he said were efforts to use the ICC as a "as a political tool against the Philippines"- a sentiment echoed by Panelo himself.
The US action appears to have been spurred by a possible ICC investigation in Afghanistan that could examine conduct by US personnel and by a possible investigation in Palestine that would likely include conduct by Israeli officials.
"The court remains fully committed to its independent mandate to help end impunity in a complementary manner with states, and in so doing, contribute to the prevention of future atrocities", it said. While the Philippines ratified the Rome Statute that created the ICC, the administration said the government never published that in a newspaper or the official gazette, as required by law.
The move comes one year after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that it would be leaving the ICC.
It has been a year after President Duterte made a decision to revoke the Philippines' 2011 ratification of the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.
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He stressed that the ICC was relying on the "continued support of the global community to ensure its effectiveness in the fight against impunity".
Rights advocates and experts, meanwhile, have said that the Manila's withdrawal was a black eye for Philippine diplomacy.
The Trump administration, which has increasingly given priority to the country's own interest over worldwide cooperation, left the UN Human Rights Council, arguing that it favors Palestine over Israel. Amnesty said there were "ways and means" to carry on with investigating alleged rights abuses, but did not cite them.
In February 2018, the tribunal began a preliminary investigation into Philippine President Rodrigo Duterete's controversial crackdown on the narcotics trade.
Last year, lawyer Barry Gutierrez argued before the Supreme Court that the ICC provides a "safety mechanism" for Filipinos who want to seek redress for their grievances, especially when local courts are "unable or unwilling to actually provide justice to victims of these serious crimes enumerated in the ICC". Burundi was the first to leave the court in 2017.
It is rightly said that the United States is at war with the ICC just to cover up its alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and to protect Israel that committed war crimes during 2014 war in Gaza Strip. But thousands of others are believed to have been slain by pro-government militiamen, in what Manila categories as "deaths under investigation".