SC denies De Lima appeal to participate in ICC withdrawal oral arguments

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24) — The Supreme Court (SC) junked Senator Leila de Lima's appeal to join oral argument proceedings on the country's pullout from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Voting 10-3, the court said there were no new arguments from the detained senator.

The court first rejected De Lima's motion to join the oral arguments by a 10-2 vote on August 7.

She said the case was personal to her as a critic of the war on drugs which was under ICC scrutiny.

On March 14, President Duterte said the country would withdraw from the ICC "effective immediately," slamming efforts to use the organization "as a political tool against the Philippines."

Six opposition senators filed a petition on May 16 asking the court to invalidate and render as ineffective the country's withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC "without the concurrence of at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate."

Oral arguments were scheduled for August 28.

Not letting up on the appeals

Minority senators filed another appeal, just a day before De Lima's petition was junked.

Senators Francis Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV signed the petition filed August 23, claiming that De Lima could join the proceedings through a live video feed. The detained senator concurred with this plea.

"This will address the Honorable Court's apparent concerns regarding Senator De Lima's current detention. If needed, petitioners-senators can supply the necessary equipment and facilities for this to take place," the petition said.

De Lima is detained at the PNP Custodial Center over drug charges, but the senators are undeterred by this.

"As Senator De Lima is constitutionally presumed innocent, her current detention is no ground for depriving her of the right of self-representation because she has not been tried and convicted of the charges brought against her," the senators said.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.