There should only be 12 senators in 2013 – Miriam

5 Jul

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago today said that the 2013 ballot should list only 12 vacancies for senators.

In a letter to Comelec Chair Sixto S. Brillantes Jr.,Santiagosaid she will not resign from the Senate until the International Criminal Court (ICC) calls her to duty.

Santiagowas overwhelmingly elected in the ICC in elections held by the Assembly of States Parties in 12 December 2011, inNew York.  She is the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to sit in the ICC, which tries cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The senator said that she is unable to determine the date of her resignation and assumption to her ICC seat, because of a provision in the ICC Charter.  The ICC Charter, also known as the Rome Statute, provides that any incumbent judge shall not be allowed to retire, until he finishes any trial where he participated.

“In order to observe the provision that the ICC should consist of only 18 judges, a newly-elected Judge has to wait until an incumbent Judge has disposed of all his pending trials, even if the tenure extends beyond the retirement date of the incumbent,”Santiago said.  “In other words, a Judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber continues in office in order to complete the trial or appeal, even after the expiry of his or her term.  Then and only then will the new Judge be called to duty.”

Moreover, in a 22 February 2012 letter to the six newly-elected judges, including Santiago, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song advised them “not to make any irreversible commitments for the time being which could terminate your current professional engagements with a view to future engagement at the Court.” Santiago said she took this to mean that she should not yet resign as senator.

Santiago also said that she requested President Song to call her to duty as one of the last of the six new judges.  According to her, President Song took note of her personal preference, and her decision to continue discharging her duties as senator until she is called for duty by the ICC.

“I have no discretion on when I should report to the ICC.  This is why I cannot resign from the Senate, until the ICC indicates that I should do so,” she explained.  “I will simply have to wait until the ICC Presidency makes a decision on whether I should report to the Appeals Chamber, which is considered the most prestigious of the three chambers of the ICC.”

Santiago said that she kept silent about her potential resignation, because she did not want to add to the agitation among her political supporters, as evidenced by their comments on her Facebook page.

“Normally, the assumption to office by an ICC Judge is treated as confidential between her and the ICC Presidency.  But because there is now widespread media and public speculation in the Philippines, I am constrained to make this public, at least to save significant printing expenses on the part of the Comelec, and to guide political parties in drawing up their senatorial slates,” Santiago said. -END-

RUSH AND PERSONAL!

4 July 2012

Chair Sixto S. Brillantes, Jr.

Commission on Elections

 

Dear Chair Brillantes:

This responds to published news reports of your inquiry on when I shall resign from the Senate, preparatory to assuming my post as Judge of the International Criminal Court.  I understand that you need this information for the 2013 elections, so that the Comelec shall be guided on whether to print ballots with vacancies for 12 or for 13 senators, depending on my resignation.

I regret that I am unable to determine the date of my resignation, and that the ICC itself does not know either.  Of course, I will not resign from the Senate, until the ICC calls me to duty.  Hence, I respectfully submit that even only out of prudence, the 2013 ballot should list only 12 vacancies for senators.

This obfuscation arises because the ICC charter, also known as the Rome Statute, provides in Article 36 para. 10 that any incumbent Judge shall not be allowed to retire, until he finishes any trial where he participated.  More specifically, Article 36 provides:

10.  Notwithstanding para. 9, a Judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber in accordance with Article 39 shall continue in office to complete any trial or appeal, the hearing of which has already commenced before the Chamber.  (Emphasis added.)

In order to observe the provision that the ICC should consist of only 18 judges, a newly-elected Judge has to wait until an incumbent Judge has disposed of all his pending trials, even if the tenure extends beyond the retirement date of the incumbent.  In other words, a Judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber continues in office in order to complete the trial or appeal, even after the expiry of his or her term.  Then and only then will the new Judge be called to duty.

In his letter of 22 February 2012 to all the six newly-elected Judges, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song wrote to me:

Because of these uncertainties about exactly when newly-elected judges are likely to be required for full-time service, I am writing to ask each of you not to make any irreversible commitments for the time being which could terminate your current professional engagements with a view to future engagement at the Court.  (Emphasis added.)

I took this statement to mean that I should not yet resign as Senator.  Subsequently, in March 2012, the six new Judges were invited to The Haguefor oathtaking.  I was unable to go, because I was suffering from hypertension of a potentially dangerous level.  In hindsight, it was fortuitous that I did not take my oath as judge, because it could have disqualified me from remaining as Senator.

At the same time, conscious of my obligation to the Filipino people to serve a six-year term starting from the elections of May 2010, I requested President Song, representing the ICC Presidency – consisting of the President and the two Vice-Presidents – to call me to duty as one of the last of the six new Judges.  The Presidency took note of my personal preference.

Recently, in June 2012, President Song wrote:

As indicated to you by letter dated 3 April 2012, it is not currently anticipated that you shall be called to serve on a full-time basis in the near future although, of course, the needs of the Court shall always be the primary consideration in such decisions . . . . (Emphasis added.)

The Presidency has also taken note of your decision to continue discharging your duties as a Senator . . . .

Please be assured that when the need for any move to The Haguebecomes imminent you will be fully informed, in a timely manner, of all relevant details. . . .

If I resign from the Senate before the ICC calls me for duty, it will have no responsibility for my income or professional accommodation.  Furthermore, I have no discretion on when I should report to the ICC.  This is why I cannot resign from the Senate, until the ICC indicates that I should do so.  I will simply have to wait until the ICC Presidency makes a decision on whether I should report to the Appeals Chamber, which is considered the most prestigious of the three chambers of the ICC.

When the ICC calls me for duty, I shall embark on a term of nine years.  This will necessitate that I should lease a house, organize a household staff, and organize an official staff in The Hague.  BecauseThe Haguehas extremely cold weather, even my wardrobe will have to undergo an entire regime change.  More significantly, I will have to transfer from the political to the legal sphere.  These are the reasons why I have kept silent about my potential resignation.  I did not want to add to the agitation among my political supporters, as evidenced by their comments on my Facebook page.

Normally, the assumption to office by an ICC Judge is treated as confidential between her and the ICC Presidency.  But because there is now widespread media and public speculation in the Philippines, I am constrained to make this letter public, at least to save significant printing expenses on the part of the Comelec, and to guide political parties in drawing up their senatorial slates.

Sincerely yours,

MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO

 

6 comments on “There should only be 12 senators in 2013 – Miriam

  1. kung ako po ang tatanungin, mas mainam po siguro na yung lahat ng ibang senator na lang ang mapunta sa ICC at si Sen. Miriam na lang ang matira sa senado.

    After following the impeachment, (although I only watch when I anticipate Sen. Miriam to speak)I realized na si Sen. Miriam lang naman ang mambabatas na nguuphold ng batas at napagtanto ko na the senate is 99% Miriam Defensor Santiago, and the rest is the 1%.

    Narealize ko rin po na hindi pa rin maalis ng halos lahat ng senador ang pamumulitika sa impeachment.

    Pagkatapos ng impeachment naisip ko na talagang kagaguhan lang lahat. Hindi lang po ang impeachment kundi ang politics. Nawalan na rin akong ganang sumubaybay sa politics at politicians. Not just in following politics but also in exercising my right to vote. Kahit sino ang nakaupo, wala ring iniisip kundi ang sarili, kung paano manatili sa puesto at kapangyarihan. Yung mga plataporma at pangako sa panahon ng election ay puro lang lip service, at paraan lang para mapalapit sa botante, makuha ang kanilang loob at nang sila ay maiboto.Pagkatapos ay back to regular programming na naman ang mga politiko sa pamumulitika. What is lost is that we (the ordinary people) did not vote for the politician, we voted for senators, representatives, president.

    Lahat ay puro lang slogan, pag bad ka lagot ka, gusto ko happy ka, kung walang korupt walang mahirap, matuwid na daan, etc. Pero wala naman talagang ginagawa para sa mga nakararaming ordinaryong tao. Naaalala ko nung senate investigation kina Abalos at De Venecia kung saan ay sinabi ni Sen. Miriam na ang gulong iyon ay away lang ng dalawang kampo sa kickback. Napagisip ko na ang lahat actually ay laban lang ng mga nasa puesto, may kapangyarihan sa kanilang mga selfish na objectives. At ang mga interest ng mga maliliit at ordinaryong tao ay hindi mahalaga sa panahong ito kundi pag tuwing kailangan lang ang boto.Nahalintulad ko sila sa banko.Akala ng mga tao na pag naglagay sila ng pera sa banko, ang banko ay gagawin lahat upang maproteksyonan ang kanilang mga perang dineposito, pero laking gulat nila ng marealize na hindi pala ito ganon, na ngyari sa mga depositor ng napakaraming bankong nagsara at na-TY or thank you ang kanilang mga pera dahil sobra na sa amount na insured.Nakalimutan na ng mga politiko o sadyang walang capacity to realize na kya sila ibinoto ng tao ay upang matulungan ang mga tao na bumuti ang kanilang kasalukuyang kalagayan, mgkaroon ng trabaho, sapat na pagkain, proteksyon ng kanilang karapatan, etc. Ang pagtingin ng mga tao sa kanilang mga ibinoto ay pagasa nila.Pero sa katotohanan ay wala pala silang inaasahan at maaasahan.

    Narealize ko na kahit sino pala ang nakaupo maging LP, PDP, NP, NPC, makakaliwa man o makakanan, o ano pang kampo, ay ganon pa rin ang mangyayari. Human nature pa rin ang mananaig, sarili ang iisipin.Kaya wala na akong gana sa politics dito sa pilipinas at wala na ring ganang bomoto.Boboto na lang ako para hindi mawala sa registration dahil kailangan ko ang voter’s id para sa mga transaksyon.

    Narealize ko sa impeachment na hindi na nasunod ang batas which is the least that the senators could have done because they represent the law being the lawmakers of the land.Politics prevailed.

    Masugid ko pong inaabangan ang tuwing mgsasalita si Sen. Miriam sa impeachment dahil pinapakingan ko ang mga paliwanag nya sa batas. Maraming pong salamat at marami akong natutunan at ako’y naliwanagan.

    Noon pong pagtakbo nyo sa presidency ay hindi ako bumoto sa inyo, kakaiba po kasi kayo sa pgtingin ko, ako ay bata pa noon. I am older now at 40 and can see through a person’s peculiar ways of doing or saying things. Ngayon po ay nakita ko na karapatdapat kayong maging presidente, sayang lang at ayaw nyo na. Give up na po ako sa pilipinas, gumugulong na lang po tayo ng walang direksyon.

    Magandang Gabi po Senato Miriam at Maraming Salamat.

  2. Madam, now that you will go to the ICC soon, is there any chance you will be able to bring our territorial spat with China to the UN and international court’s attention?

  3. most of the senate members are in urged to let sen. defensor resign because of the fact that the only person who can criticize honestly on what is going on in the senate is sen. miriam. she is the only senator who is transparent, and knows how to accept her k]own mistakes. some of the senate members and most of the gov’t. officials hated her because they know that all of there corrupting ideas and deeds are being exposed by sen. miriam. the honesty that sen. defensor posses must be practice also by other members.

  4. I feel that they feel intimidated with the presence of the most intelligent Senator. That’s why.

  5. I wish Sen. Miriam Santiago run as a next president of the Philippines. Go! Sen. Miriam. your one of my favorite senators..

  6. I agree with you Clarence Madam Senator Miriam Santiago should run for next President of the Philippines.

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