Philippines now officially a party to the Rome Statute

MANILA—The Philippines is now officially a party to the Rome Statute after the Senate concurred for its ratification.

The Senate passed the resolution conveying its concurrence by a vote of 17 affirmative votes and one negative.

The Rome Statute was concluded in 1998 by the United Nations (UN) Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was participated in by some 140 States, including the Philippines.

The Statute entered into force on 1 July 2002, after 60 States had become parties.

The ICC, which is headquartered in The Hague, The Netherlands, has jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and aggression.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that the “Senate’s concurrence is a clear reaffirmation of the country’s strong advocacy and abiding commitment to justice, human rights, and the rule of law.”

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago clarified that the ICC will only act as a court of last resort.

“This means that the court acts only in exceptional cases, where a country has failed to bring justice because it is unwilling, or unable to investigate and prosecute those who have the highest responsibility for the most serious crimes of concerns to the international community,” Santiago said.

To date, there are 116 states that have either ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute, 15 of which are from Asia and the Pacific, including Cambodia, East Timor, Korea, Australia, and Japan.

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