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Opposition lawmakers back int’l call to refer Rohingya crisis to ICC


A number of Philippine senators and congresspeople are in support of an international call urging the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to refer the humanitarian crisis affecting thousands of the Rohingya in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), the move seeks to bring Myanmar leaders to justice for atrocities committed against thousands in the ethnic group.

"Since Myanmar is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, the ICC does not have jurisdiction in the country and only the UNSC can trigger an investigation by the Court," the international human rights organization said.

The statement, released just before the first anniversary of the conflict in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state, said 132 lawmakers from five Southeast Asian countries have pledged their support.

On Wednesday, a news release from from Senator Leila de Lima's office said the detained lawmaker is among the Philippine signatories.

According to De Lima, she is joined by fellow lawmakers including Senator Risa Hontiveros; ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio; Bayan Muna party-list Carlos Isagani Zarate; Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman; Gabriela Women's party-list Emmi de Jesus; Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao; Northern Samar 1st District Representative Raul Daza; Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr.; and Akbayan party-list Representative Tom Villarin.

The APHR said endorsing parliamentarians also include lawmakers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Timor Leste. — Margaret Claire Layug/BM, GMA News