"It is important that the court should investigate, prosecute, and punish criminals because we might be the next victims against human rights,” said an assistant professor of the University of the Philippines College of Law last Aug. 19 at the Luce Auditorium.
Prof. Herminio Harry L. Roque Jr., director of the University of the Philippines Law Center Institute of International Legal Studies, lectured on the “Legal Nuances to the Philippine Ratification of the Rome Statute in the International Criminal Court” as part of the Academic Excellence Lecture Series in Judiciary, sponsored by the Supreme Court of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA).
Roque said that in 2011, the Philippines acceded to the Rome Statute “when it deposed its instrument ratification at the United Nations (UN) in New York.”
The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1988. It was the first international court to prosecute individuals with cases of genocide, crime against humanity, war crimes, and the crimes of aggression.
Along with his lecture are the discussions on the historical background of both ICC and Rome Statute, and the features of the Philippines’ ratification of the Rome Statute.
“The Philippine government must submit to the ICC if its court is not willing and competent to execute its power,” Roque said.
Roque said that ICC ensures that any individual who commits the most serious crimes against the international community is investigated and held accountable.
According to Roque, the country’s International Humanitarian Law (Republic Act No. 9851) differs from the Rome Statute’s statement of what constitutes a crime.
However, the Philippine government has still to comply with two important tasks under the Rome Statute—to cooperate and to request assistance from the government, according to Roque.
Roque is a holder of the 2011 Metrobank Foundation, Professorial Chair in International and Human Rights Law, and a member of the PHILJA Department of International and Human Rights Law.
The lecture was made possible through the partnership of Metrobank Foundation Inc., Silliman University College of Law, and the University’s General Education Integrative Learning Lectures program.~
with notes from su.edu.ph
By Leslie J. Batallones