Ted­dy­boy: Point­less to stay with ICC

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE -

It is point­less for the coun­try to stay with the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC) since no ma­jor of­fen­sive power is cur­rently a mem­ber, ac­cord­ing to in­com­ing For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Teodoro “Ted­dy­boy” Loc­sin Jr.

On Twit­ter, Loc­sin, the coun­try’s Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions in New York, said ag­gres­sion is a crime that ICC might pick up but only if it is ag­gres­sion by an ICC mem­ber.

“No se­ri­ous of­fen­sive power to­day – US, China and Rus­sia – is a mem­ber of ICC – so dou­bly point­less to stay. And

ICC picks and chooses: those who ICC thinks are easy prey to prove its use­ful­ness,” he wrote.

Ag­gres­sion is one of the crimes that the ICC can pros­e­cute, the oth­ers be­ing geno­cide, crimes against hu­man­ity and war crimes.

As am­bas­sador to UN, Loc­sin was the one who de­liv­ered the let­ter in­form­ing the UN of the Philip­pine de­ci­sion to with­draw from the Rome Statute that cre­ated the ICC.

“It is my duty to give you this. A sad day but a day sure to come be­cause hu­man rights has been politi­cized. We re­sisted US pres­sure not to join un­til we fi­nally signed on, only to have it weaponized against our democ­racy fighting an ex­is­ten­tial threat from the drug trade,” he wrote at the time.

He ear­lier said Pres­i­dent Duterte avoided a “rigged fight” with the coun­try’s pull­out from the in­ter­na­tional tri­bunal.

“The ICC has grown weaker and no longer has the au­thor­ity to look into al­leged rights abuses in the Philip­pines fol­low­ing the coun­try’s pull­out from the Rome Statute,” he wrote on Twit­ter.

“It makes the ICC weaker by yet an­other with­draw­ing mem­ber join­ing the ranks of Is­rael, the US, Rus­sia and, well, China,” added Loc­sin.

A day af­ter con­firm­ing that he has ac­cepted the sec­re­tary post at the De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA), Loc­sin said he would end the prac­tice of “Fit­bit” diplo­macy, a term he coined af­ter the com­pany that pro­duces fit­ness track­ers.

“UN staff do all the work be­fore PH del­e­ga­tions ar­rive; plan­chado; yet my peo­ple are run­ning around like they have to com­plete 10,000 steps even if all work is done just so PH del­e­gates look like they as­signed them some­thing new to do. No more,” he said.

Loc­sin also re­sponded to crit­ics of the coun­try’s re­elec­tion bid to the UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil.

“Rights groups want to limit state’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect the law abid­ing against the law­less to just pro­tec­tion of the law­less, like drug car­tels. We’d like to oblige but we can’t. But we’re happy the drug trade has cham­pi­ons; ev­ery­one needs to have its side aired,” he wrote.

“If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and ef­fec­tively pro­tects the drug trade, isn’t it part of the trade or on its pay­roll? We’re not talk­ing about eth­nic, re­li­gious or po­lit­i­cal mi­nori­ties but those who made the now fa­tal crim­i­nal ca­reer choice of deal­ing drugs,” he added.

He also ac­cused Ice­land, a critic of the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion’s war against il­le­gal drugs, of “pro-drug deal­ing in­ter­ven­tion be­fore the vote.”

“But I am happy drug deal­ers found a cham­pion. Ev­ery side in an is­sue de­serves to be heard,” he added.

Out­go­ing For­eign Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Alan Peter Cayetano on Fri­day claimed that Hu­man Rights Watch, which urged coun­tries not to vote for the Philip­pines, is push­ing for the le­gal­iza­tion of il­le­gal drugs.

Sen­a­tors aired their con­fi­dence yes­ter­day that Loc­sin would not have any prob­lem hur­dling his con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing be­fore the Com­mis­sion on Ap­point­ments (CA).

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Pro Tem­pore Ralph Recto and Sen. Sonny An­gara, both mem­bers of the CA, said the com­pe­tence and track record of Loc­sin should work to his ad­van­tage dur­ing his con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing.

“This is one of the rare times that the best and the brightest rule in pres­i­den­tial ap­point­ments has been fol­lowed,” Recto said.

The out­spo­ken Loc­sin was a long­time journalist who served as pub­lisher, press sec­re­tary, con­gress­man and, most re­cently, Philip­pine Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions.

Recto said that Loc­sin car­ries with him a rare com­bi­na­tion of be­ing able to “quote the clas­sics but can curse like a steve­dore.”

An­gara said he ex­pects Loc­sin to breeze through his con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing es­pe­cially be­cause of the fact that he was once a mem­ber of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

He said that the ap­point­ment of Loc­sin to the DFA was a good one be­cause his ex­pe­ri­ence as a journalist and law­maker would make him an as­set to the for­eign ser­vice.

Sen. Nancy Binay said Loc­sin was a good choice for the DFA, be­ing a former con­gress­man him­self, rep­re­sent­ing Makati City, which is her home city.

Parañaque Rep. Gus Tam­bunting said yes­ter­day that Loc­sin is “very much qual­i­fied” to head the DFA. “He is a former con­gress­man, so he

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