SC denies De Lima's request to join oral arguments vs PH withdrawal of membership from ICC - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

SC denies De Lima's request to join oral arguments vs PH withdrawal of membership from ICC

SC denied De lima's plea to represent herself in oral arguments against PH withdrawal from ICC / photo from Inquirer

Manila, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) confirmed that Senator Leila De Lima’s plea to personally argue against the Philippines' withdrawal of its membership from the International Criminal Court has been denied.

With voting result of 10-2, the SC turned down the request of the senator who has detained due to drug charges.

De Lima has filed a motion to attend and represent herself at the oral arguments next week for the petition to prevent the country’s withdrawal from the ICC.

Court spokesman Theodore Te said on Tuesday that except for acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, who voted in favor of the detained senator, the magistrates found no “compelling reason” for De Lima to personally appear at the debate.

De Lima, who is currently detained over drugs charges, is one of the six minority senators who filed a petition to SC to declare "invalid or ineffective" Manila's pullout from the Rome Statute, which was ratified in 2011 without concurrence of at least two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the country’s withdrawal of membership from the ICC in March.*

De lima doing some paper work inside her detention cell / photo from Google (ctto)

"Likewise, this Honorable Court is respectfully asked to take judicial notice of its practice of permitting members of Congress to appear before it and argue their cases. The situation of Senator De Lima is not different from them," her motion read.

However, the court’s spokesman said that SC held that the senator’s capacity to appear for herself “must yield” to her detention.

The court also pointed out that the petitioners’ cause against the ICC withdrawal would be "prejudiced by another counsel appearing in her place."

"The Court also noted that Senator De Lima, did not, at any time, plead circumstances or competencies exclusive to her which make her appearance, to the exclusion of her co-petitioners, imperative and indispensable," Te said.

The oral arguments for the petitions are scheduled on August 14, 2018.

De Lima is a staunch critic of President Duterte, she has been detained for over a year in connection to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). She also repeatedly denied any involvement to such activities, claiming she is a victim of political persecution.

The opposition senator is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Source: GMA News