Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago dismissed an online petition calling for her removal from the International Criminal Court over grounds that she is "psychologically unstable."
The petition seeks to “reconsider and reject” Santiago's election to the judicial body.
“Alam nila ibabasura yan ng ICC. Who are they to file that kind of a complaint when there is no procedure for that in the ICC?” Santiago said in a radio interview on Sunday.
The senator called the petition a “black propaganda” meant to discredit her.
The online petition posted on Change.org argued that Santiago does not deserve a place in the ICC as she is “emotionally or psychologically unstable, prone to fits of uncontrollable rage, lacking in patience and empathy, ruthless with the feelings of fellow human beings, bereft of civility and uncaring about decorum.”
During the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona, Santiago repeatedly berated and scolded the prosecution team and some witnesses before the court.
“While, ironically, it should be a source of pride for Filipinos to have one of our own elected to your honorable court, we are embarrassed by the ill-considered nomination of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Far from representing the best of us, she typifies the worst. We fear that her presence in the International Criminal Court will make us the laughing stock of the world,” the petition letter claimed.
As of this writing, the online petition initiated by U.S.-based Filipino lawyer Rodel Rodis, has gathered 3,477 of the 5,000 signatures it aimed.
Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile defended Santiago, saying he believed the senator will behave differently in the ICC.
“Alam mo, kapag nasa loob ka ng husgado, minsan ang balitaktakan ay umiinit. Ngayon, iba naman kung siya ay nasa International Criminal Court at nasa impeachment court. Palagay ko naman si Miriam ay matalinong tao. Hindi naman niya gagawin ‘yun sa ICC,” Enrile told reporters Monday.
Santiago was scheduled to take oath as ICC judge at The Hague, Netherlands last March but she chose to stay due to medical reasons and to finish the impeachment trial.
The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …