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Rosales hopeful new CJ heeds 'strong' arguments vs ICC withdrawal

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Rosales hopeful new CJ heeds 'strong' arguments vs ICC withdrawal
In this March 15, 2018 photo, Etta Rosales, former chairperson of the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, together with current chair Ray Paolo J. Santiago gives a statement at the Commission on Human Rights Office Thursday, March 15, 2018, following the announced withdrawal of the Philippine ratification of the Rome Statute.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has no reason to dismiss petitions seeking to void the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court founding chair Etta Rosales stressed this Wednesday when asked how Associate Justice Teresita De Castro's appointment as chief justice could affect oral arguments on the executive department’s withdrawal of the ratification of the Rome Statue.

De Castro might preside over oral arguments scheduled Tuesday afternoon.

“In so far as the arguments are concerned, we have very strong arguments. And for that reason, I am optimistic,” Rosales said in an interview on ANC’s “Early Edition.”

She added: “Whoever the chief justice is, if the chief justice will look into the validity of our arguments, there’s really no reason why the chief justice should think otherwise and should not look favorably into our petition.”

Some quarters said that De Castro’s conduct during the oral arguments should be closely watched.

The Supreme Court will tackle the consolidated petition of the minority senators and the PCICC, which argue that the country’s Philippine Notice of Withdrawal from the ICC is invalid due to lack of Senate concurrence.

Rosales, moreover, noted that De Castro might “[not] even be there when the final decision takes place” as her appointment as chief justice will only last for two months.

Chief justice's moral advantage

But she believes that De Castro may still play a pivotal role in the decision-making process of the high court.

“As chief justice, you cannot deprive her of that advantage—moral advantage—as presiding officer over the court. She can always speak her piece and tell the court about what she feels is the importance of the arguments, of the petition that we have,” the former Commission on Human Human Rights chair said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, defending his decision to appoint De Castro, cited the high court’s tradition of following seniority.

READDuterte defends choice for new chief justice, cites De Castro's seniority
 

ETTA ROSALES PHILIPPINE COALITION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT TERESITA DE CASTRO
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