OFWs Still Safe Amid ICC Withdrawal
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are still protected despite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), lawmaker claims.
ACTS OFW party-list representative John Bertiz said that the laws in the country are enough to protect the welfare of OFWs, reported GMA.
“Hindi naman maaapektuhan kasi we really have a very strong law in the land na nirerespeto naman ng ating mga mamamayan at ganun din ng international community,” Bertiz said.
Bertiz added that there are existing bilateral agreements between the Philippines and the countries where many OFWs are deployed.
“And most of these high-populated countries, may mga bilateral agreement tayo not only in labor, pati na rin sa security. So I don’t think maaapektuhan nung pag-withdraw ng Pilipinas sa ICC [‘yung mga OFWs],” he added.
Earlier, lawyer and former dean of the Ateneo School of Government, Antonio La Viña said that OFWs are the most affected by the president’s move.
“[If] war crimes are committed against our people, wala tayong recourse sa ICC kasi hindi tayo member,” he told GMA News.
Bertiz countered by saying that there are embassies and representatives present in foreign countries that will protect OFWs.
“Basically, meron naman tayong tinatawag na embahada at representative and very strong mostly ‘yung mga bilateral agreements natin doon sa mga highly-populated countries,” Bertiz said.
On Wednesday, March 14, Duterte announced that the country is withdrawing from the ICC, ordering it to be ‘effective immediately’.
Duterte cited that the basis for his decision is the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” of the ICC against him, adding that the attempt of the ICC to place him under the tribunal’s jurisdiction as another reason.
“I therefore declare and forthwith give notice, as President of the Republic of the Philippines, that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately,” the President said in a statement.