Myanmar military junta formally accused of alleged war crimes before Philippines’ justice department

Lawyer Michael Tiu Jr, an international humanitarian law expert from the University of the Philippines, said the alleged war crimes may be covered by universal jurisdiction under the Act, if they were perpetrated in the Philippines or against Filipinos.

“A strict reading (of the law) will mean that there are parameters to the exercise of jurisdiction which may limit the seizing of jurisdiction in this particular case,” he told CNA.

However, he added that the same Act makes international customary law applicable, which could be interpreted to mean a Philippine trial is indeed possible, regardless of the perpetrators’ nationality.

“So, one may also read in the Geneva Conventions and other laws to posit that ‘regardless of nationality’ means anybody can be tried in the Philippines if war crimes of this nature had been committed,” he explained.

Cases against the Myanmar army have also been filed in Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Türkiye.

Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines are members of regional grouping the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a policy of non-interference into each member state’s domestic affairs.

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