Guevarra airs view on suit vs China’s Xi

March 25, 2019

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said that the complaint filed by two former government officials against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court wasn’t for legal victory but just to “stress a point.”

In a statement, Guevarra pointed out the complaint filed by former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales was “to tell the world that some Filipinos won’t allow powerful and influential personalities to push them around.”

“I believe that the complaint was filed not with the hope of a favorable judgment by the ICC, but probably to impress upon China that if the Philippine government is not willing to vigorously assert its West Philippine Sea arbitration victory at this time, there are Filipinos who are unwilling to defer further action to enforce the arbitral ruling.”

“The complaint may also have been filed to stress a point: that our withdrawal from the ICC was a mistake, as this is one forum where enforcement action in the WPS may actually be sought. All of these notwithstanding, I trust that the President has the greater interest of the country in mind in pursuing his kind of foreign policy, and for that reason we ought to give him all the leeway and flexibility he needs,” Guevarra said.

Over the weekend, Guevarra said the filing of the complaint against Xi was an exercise in futility, and just a political move.

Guevarra explained that del Rosario and Morales are aware that the complaint they filed last March 15 could be dismissed by the ICC for lack of jurisdiction over China, which is not a member and signatory to the Rome Statute.