Press Release
August 23, 2011

Speech of Senator TG Guingona regarding the Vote on
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Today, I cast my vote in favor of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

I firmly believe that the 15th Congress, this Senate, is in the perfect position to make a historical vote in favor of accountability. In favor of human rights.

Genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. Offenses that are irreversible assaults against humanity. The International Criminal Court is a venue for those who are alleged violators to be weighed against the standards of law and justice. Is it our problem that other countries have not signed this treaty? No.

If these countries fear that a legal, objective, and neutral system like the International Criminal Court can exact accountability for such heinous crimes against their own citizens, that is THEIR problem. Not OURS.

I believe that now is the perfect time for the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines to cast this historic vote to send strong messages to everyone:

1. This is the government that is NOT afraid of any institution of accountability.

2. This is the nation that seeks to cooperate with the continuing international effort to stop heinous crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, aggression.

Lives have been lost in the hands of persons who have not been made liable for any offense.

This has to stop.

The Congress of the Philippines has already passed Republic Act 9851: An Act Defining and Penalizing Crimes against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and other Crimes against Humanity.

Today, we are casting a vote to further strengthen our commitment to fight such serious crimes.

By casting this vote, we take a step forward in defense of lives lost and lives that will be lost if we continue to fear institutions of accountability like the International Criminal Court.

Today, I cast my vote in favor of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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