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Philippine's Duterte urges nations to abandon ICC

March 18, 2018

After his decision to quit the International Criminal Court, Philippine leader Duterte has called upon other nations to follow suit. The ICC announced last month it was launching a probe into Duterte's brutal drug war.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Marque

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday the Rome Statute, which founded the International Criminal Court (ICC), was "bulls***" because it was "not prepared by everybody."

The firebrand leader, who, in the past, used foul language toward former US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis, vowed to convince other countries to leave the ICC.

"I said withdraw simply because to announce to the world, and I will convince everybody now who [is] under the treaty: Get out, get out. It is rude," Duterte said in a speech to the country's military academy graduates.

 A woman weeps near the scene where a suspected drug user was shot dead by unknown assailants in Navotas, north of Manila, Philippines
Police have killed more than 4,100 suspected drug pushers and users since Duterte took office in 2016Image: picture-alliance/NurPhoto/E. Acayan

"It is not a document that was prepared by anybody. It's an EU-sponsored [treaty]," he added.

The Hague-based ICC had announced last month it was launching a preliminary probe into Duterte's brutal crackdown on drugs. Rights groups, both national and international, say the campaign has killed thousands of people.

On Thursday, Manila formally served notice to the UN of its decision to withdraw from the ICC

Officially leaving the ICC requires a year's notice and would not prevent the international court from prosecuting Duterte, who, human rights activists say, is trying to run from justice.

Read more: 
Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte rejects crimes against humanity probe into 'drug war'

'White idiots of the EU'

Duterte, however, insists the ICC has no authority to bring a case against him as the treaty is in violation of domestic laws.

The ICC was part of efforts of "white idiots in the EU" to "atone" for wrongdoings in Africa and the Middle East, he said.

"These people when they went to Africa, they killed the Arabs. … It is really an atonement for their sins. And then they run after either the blacks, when there are so many problems, but they still meddle," the Philippine leader continued.

Should the Philippines fully withdraw from the ICC, it would be the second country after the African nation of Burundi to abandon the court.

Read more:

Will the ICC prosecute Philippine President Duterte?

Philippines Church head urges government to 'stop wasting lives' in drug killings

Amnesty: Indonesia waging its own 'war on drugs'

shs/jlw (AFP, dpa, AP)

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