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Digest 10

SENATOR AQUILINO PIMENTEL, JR., et al G.R. No. 158088

Vs

Office of the Executive Secretary

FACTS:

This is a petition for mandamus filed by petitioners to compel the


Office of the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed
copy of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to the Senate of the Philippines for
its concurrence in accordance with Section 21, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution which
provides that no treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective unless concurred
in by at least two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate.

The Rome Statute established the International Criminal Court which shall have the
power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of international
concern xxx and shall be complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions. Its jurisdiction
covers the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression
as defined in the Statute. The Statute was opened for signature by all states in Rome on July
17, 1998 and had remained open for signature until December 31, 2000 at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York. The Philippines signed the Statute on December 28, 2000
through Charge d Affairs Enrique A. Manalo of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations. Its
provisions, however, require that it be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the
signatory states. Petitioners then filed the instant petition to compel the respondents the Office
of the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs to transmit the signed text of
the treaty to the Senate of the Philippines for ratification.

ISSUE:

Whether the Executive Secretary and the Department of Foreign Affairs have
a ministerial duty to transmit to the Senate the copy of the Rome Statute signed by a member of
the Philippine Mission to the United Nations even without the signature of the President.

Ruling:

No. It should be emphasized that under our Constitution, the power to ratify is vested in
the President, subject to the concurrence of the Senate. The role of the Senate, however, is
limited only to giving or withholding its consent, or concurrence, to the ratification. Hence, it is
within the authority of the President to refuse to submit a treaty to the Senate or, having secured
its consent for its ratification, refuse to ratify it. The Court, therefore, cannot issue the writ
of mandamus prayed for by the petitioners as it is beyond its jurisdiction to compel the executive
branch of the government to transmit the signed text of Rome Statute to the Senate. The
petition is hereby dismissed.