MANILA, Philippines — Former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario yesterday slammed presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo and challenged him to reveal the country he is “working for” in insisting the case they filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity should be dismissed.
“Former ombudsman Conchita Morales and I are endeavoring to work for our countrymen. Why then are we being criticized by Panelo?” Del Rosario said in a statement.
“What country might he be working for?” he asked.
Panelo on Saturday said Del Rosario and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales were apparently trying to advance their “pretended nationalism” by insisting on pursuing their case against Xi.
Panelo pointed out that the ICC junking of the communication filed by Del Rosario and Morales “is consistent with our previous stand that the filing of the complaint is a futile exercise.”
Panelo noted that the ICC has no jurisdiction over China.
The ICC said it could not act on the case filed by Del Rosario and Morales against China’s Xi, citing lack of jurisdiction.
In March, Del Rosario and Morales filed a complaint against Xi over China’s environmentally destructive activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), particularly its building of artificial islands.
They said the “atrocious” actions in the South China Sea and in Philippine waters constitute a crime against humanity.
In a report released on Thursday night, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her office concluded that the crimes allegedly committed do not fall within the territorial or otherwise personal jurisdiction of the court.
Del Rosario and Morales explained that it was not a dismissal of their complaint but a call for “new facts and evidence.”
“This has only strengthened our resolve,” they said.