Senator Leila de Lima has agreed to argue before the Supreme Court the petition of minority senators to invalidate the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday said De Lima will be the counsel and co-petitioner for the case.
“Yes, she agreed. Sumangayon na siya na siya ang magiging lead counsel para dito sa kaso pag-kwestyon ng withdrawal ng executive department sa ICC (She agreed to be the lead counsel in this case that will question the decision of the executive department to withdraw from the ICC),” he told reporters on Wednesday.
Pangilinan said they just need to secure the high court’s approval because De Lima is currently in the custody of the court for drug charges.
“Ang sa amin (For us), the right to counsel is a fundamental right and she is in the custody of the courts so bakit naman hindi siya (so why not her)?” he said.
He added that De Lima, as former justice secretary and human rights commissioner, has the necessary experience to defend them.
Last month, Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, Antonio Trillanes IV, Pangilinan and De Lima herself filed a petition for certiorari before the SC to challenge the Duterte administration’s decision to withdraw from the ICC.
The opposition senators argued that the decision lacked the concurrence of the Senate.
The high court will hear the oral arguments at 2:00 p.m. on July 24. /ee
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