Philippines Plans to Withdraw From International Criminal Court
plans to pull his country out of the International Criminal Court, putting the court’s investigation of alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines in doubt.
Mr. Duterte is waging a bloody war on drugs that has killed thousands of mostly poor people in the Philippines, many of whom rights groups say were executed by police officers. The government denies that authorities systematically execute suspects and has rejected criticism from human-rights groups, which say the president has encouraged the killings and threatened or imprisoned those who opposed them.
Mr. Duterte said in a draft statement Wednesday that the ICC “is being utilized as a political tool against the Philippines” and he would issue notice to withdraw the Philippines, “given the baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on my person as well as against my administration” by the court and by United Nations officials.
The ICC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Notice to withdraw from the Rome Statute, which underpins the ICC, is a year-long process, though Mr. Duterte said he wouldn’t recognize this and rejected ICC jurisdiction entirely.
The decision to withdraw caps a tumultuous few weeks of insult-trading between Mr. Duterte and officials of the United Nations.
The firebrand president’s government recently named hundreds of people it said were affiliated with terrorist groups, including the U.N.’s special rapporteur on indigenous people, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. U.N. officials called the classification an attempt to target its staff for their advocacy.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights
Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein
last week suggested Mr. Duterte needs to see a psychiatrist.
The ICC, which is separate from the United Nations and given legitimacy over member countries by an international treaty, investigates war crimes and state-sponsored killings in member countries and has in the past prosecuted heads of government.
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