FORMER OMBUDSMAN CONCHITA CARPIO-MORALES SAYS THERE’S MORE TO THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING EVEN AFTER THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC) RULED THAT IT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE.
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 6) — Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said there’s more to the complaint she filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping for Beijing’s actions in the West Philippine Sea even after the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case.
In a report released Thursday, an ICC prosecutor said the body has no jurisdiction over the crimes against humanity complaint against Chinese officials for their “atrocious actions” in the South China Sea, given that Beijing was not a party to the Rome Statute — the treaty which formed the tribunal.
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“Let them gloat in the meantime. This is just the beginning. Abangan [Just wait],” Carpio-Morales said in a statement.
The ICC ruled that the alleged crimes happened within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, which it said is not considered as part of its territory by definition under the treaty.
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In March, Carpio-Morales and Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario filed a communication before the ICC against Xi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and former Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua over near-permanent environmental destruction in the West Philippine Sea, a portion of the South China Sea which has been declared part of the Philippines’ EEZ.
The filing said China’s encroachment on islands in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, resulted in “environmentally destructive and illegal reclamations and artificial island building activities” in Scarborough Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands and, and deprived Filipino fishermen from livelihood as the Chinese blocked them from casting their nets in contested waters under Xi’s reign.
“Criminal conduct which takes place in the EEZ and continental shelf is thus in principle outside of the territory of a Coastal State… This circumstance is not altered by the fact that certain rights of the Coastal State are recognised in these areas,” the ICC said in its report.
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However, Del Rosario said in the same statement that the ICC’s ruling was not a dismissal, saying their camp is providing “new facts and evidence” to bolster the case. An item in the prosecutor’s report informs parties of the “possibility of submitting further information” about developments in the case.
Both Carpio-Morales and Del Rosario were barred from entry into Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region of China, in separate trips they made in May and June, which they believe is connected to the case they filed against Xi.
CNN Philippines’ Xave Gregorio contributed to this report.