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Pangalangan to finish term as ICC judge despite Philippine withdrawal

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 3/19/2018 Patricia Lourdes Viray

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines's withdrawal of its ratification of the Rome Statute will not affect the status of Filipino Judge Raul Pangalangan in the International Criminal Court.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday confirmed that Pangalangan will finish his term in the international court.

"The term of Judge Raul Pangalangan, who is my former colleague in UP, is fixed and he will serve, if I'm not mistaken, until 2021," Roque said in a press conference.

Pangalangan, former dean of the UP College of Law, was sworn in as a judge of the ICC in July 2015. He was elected to fill a judicial vacancy during the 13th session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute in The Hague, Netherlands. His term will end on March 10, 2021.

The Filipino judge secured the majority vote from the 123-member body of state parties over Dr. Ibrahim Aljazy of Jordan.

Pangalangan filled up the seat vacated by the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who resigned from the ICC in June 2014 for health reasons.

In this July 13, 2015 photo, Raul Pangalangan is sworn in as a new judge of the International Criminal Court in a ceremony in The Hague, Netherlands. ICC-CPI, file © Philstar.com In this July 13, 2015 photo, Raul Pangalangan is sworn in as a new judge of the International Criminal Court in a ceremony in The Hague, Netherlands. ICC-CPI, file

Last week, Philippines officially delivered its letter of withdrawal from the international tribunal, more than a month after the court announced that it has started a preliminary examination into the human rights situation in the country.

The international court, on the other hand, urged the Philippines to reconsider its decision to leave the treaty that established the ICC.

"The court encourages the Philippines to not follow through with the reported intention to withdraw, as it is an important state party to the Rome Statute, and as such an integral part of the international criminal justice system aimed at ending impunity for and helping prevent the gravest crimes under international law," the ICC said in an e-mail to Philstar.com.

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