At the heart of the Philippines' political arena, a promise of neutrality and transparency has been made by the House Speaker regarding deliberations on the International Criminal Court (ICC). As the ICC turns its gaze towards the archipelago, investigating alleged human rights violations, the Speaker's assurance against coercion, or 'pagbabaston,' stands out.
'Pagbabaston,' a term reflecting the act of pressuring or compelling someone, has been brought into the spotlight by the Speaker. The commitment to refrain from this practice during the ICC discussions signifies a dedication to the principles of fair and independent discussion within the legislative assembly. It is a nod to the democratic nature of the institution, allowing members to express their views and vote according to their conscience without external influences.
Recalling the ICC Departure
The Philippines' relationship with the ICC has been tumultuous. Under the administration of President Duterte in 2019, the country withdrew from the ICC. This move, seen by critics such as former senator Leila De Lima as questionable and driven by personal interests, has since sparked a debate about the country's stance towards the international tribunal. Now, with President Bongbong Marcos considering the return to the ICC, the country's political landscape finds itself at a crossroads.
As the examination by the executive department continues, the possibility of rejoining the ICC hangs in the balance. Advocates like De Lima emphasize the importance of ICC membership for the attainment of justice for victims. With the assurance from the Speaker, it seems the deliberations will be free from coercion, providing a platform for an unbiased decision-making process.