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FACT CHECK NED FC

FACT CHECK: Abante wrongly claims ICC is UN court

The International Criminal Court is the investigative body of the United Nations.

Bienvenido Abante Jr. 2024-06-05 False

The ICC is independent from the UN and does not serve as its investigative body. The Court was established by the Rome Statute in 1998 to look into and try individuals charged with war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and aggression

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. made a mistake in referring to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the investigative body of the United Nations (UN). The ICC was established by the Rome Statute in 1998 and is independent from the UN.

STATEMENT

During a June 6 hearing on the review of cases related to extrajudicial killings under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte, Abante, who chairs the House Committee on Human Rights, responded to statements made by the drug war victims’ legal counsel:

Hinihiling ko lang na ‘wag n’yong babanggitin ang ICC dito. ‘Wag niyong banggitin. ‘Wag, okay? Sapagka’t wala kaming pakialam sa ICC at hindi namin hahayaan na pakialaman kami ng ICC. We are a sovereign country here, hindi ko isusuko ang pagkasoberano ng House na ito sa ICC. Hindi po bansa ang ICC, all right? Investigative body ng UN ang ICC. Tayo ay bansa, meron tayong demokrasya.”

(All I ask is not to mention the ICC here. Just don’t, okay? We don’t care about the ICC and we will not allow the ICC to interfere. We are a sovereign country here, I will not give up the sovereignty of the House to the ICC. The ICC is not a state, all right? It is the investigative body of the UN. We are a country, we are a democracy.)

Source: House of Representatives of the Philippines official Facebook page, COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS, June 6, 2024, watch from 2:17:09 to 2:17:47

FACT

The ICC is independent from the UN and does not serve as its investigative body.

The Court was established by the Rome Statute in 1998 to look into and try individuals charged with war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and aggression.

Bienvenido Abante Jr.

The Philippines has been under examination since 2018 for suspected crimes against humanity committed under Duterte’s drug war. The ICC investigation has been underway since 2021 and resumed in 2023 after a temporary suspension.

In 2018, the Duterte administration withdrew the country’s membership from the Rome Statute which took effect in 2019. Despite this, the Court continues to retain jurisdiction over crimes alleged to have occurred during the span of the country’s membership.

 


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International Criminal Court, About the Court, Accessed June 6, 2024

International Criminal Court, How the Court works, Accessed June 6, 2024

International Criminal Court, Republic of the Philippines, Accessed June 6, 2024

International Criminal Court, Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Accessed June 6, 2024

International Criminal Court, Decision on the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation of an investigation pursuant to Article 15(3) of the Statute, Sept. 15, 2021

International Criminal Court, Statement of the Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on her request to open an investigation of the Situation in the Philippines, Accessed June 14, 2021

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)