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MANILA – Former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales slammed Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, saying he is “misinformed” when the latter claimed that the International Criminal Court (ICC) Communication against China might be a “futile exercise.”

“Secretary Panelo is misinformed. Or he misread, if at all he read, the Rome Statute,” Morales said in an interview.

According to Panelo, ICC has no jurisdiction over both China and the Philippines, because the two countries are not members of the international court.

However, Morales on Tuesday, April 2, asserted the complaint she and former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario filed against President Xi Jinping and other Chinese officials for crimes against humanity was done when the Philippines was still a member of the Rome Statute.

The complaint regarding environmental damage in the South China Sea was filed on March 15, two days before the effectivity of the withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC.

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The former Ombudsman argued that ICC still has jurisdiction over the matter.

Moreover, Morales noted that it is “immaterial” if China is not a member of the Rome Statute.

“What’s material is that a person committed a crime within the territory of the Philippines, which is a member of the Rome Statute,” she added.