The Supreme Court (SC) has junked the petition questioning the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to unilaterally withdraw the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The SC unanimously dismissed the petition for being moot and academic, its public information office said.

The SC has yet to release a copy of the ruling.

Duterte withdrew from the ICC in 2018 as the court was opening a preliminary investigation into his government’s human rights record amid the war on drugs.

In a statement, Palace spokesman Harry Roque, a former human rights lawyer, said Malacañang welcomed the SC decision.

He urged the ICC to not “waste time and resources on investigations that will not prosper as we do not recognize ICC jurisdiction over the Philippines.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also called on the ICC to stop interfering with the country’s affairs.

“We, therefore, reiterate our calls to the officials of the ICC to stop their futile endeavors apropos the internal affairs of our country. They should be enlightened by Article 127 of the Rome Statute that their preliminary examination, not being considered as a criminal investigation or court proceeding, has neither basis in fact nor in law to proceed,” he said.

“It is about time for foreign elements not to meddle in the affairs of our state and unchain their imperialist assault on our sovereignty, even as the citizens of this country assert our independence against external forces that seek to trample upon our fundamental sovereign rights institutions,” he added.

The ICC in a December 2020 report said there was “reasonable basis to believe” the Duterte government had committed violations in its anti-drug campaign.

“The Office is satisfied that information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that the crimes against humanity of murder, torture and the infliction of serious physical injury and mental harm as other inhumane Acts were committed on the territory of the Philippines between at least 1 July 2016 and 16 March 2019, in connection to the War on Drugs campaign launched throughout the country,” the report read.

In response, Duterte said: “[Kung] makulong, e di makulong.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro