WHAT WENT BEFORE: Duterte’s stand vs ICC
In October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech before the Filipino community in Brunei, said he found it absurd that his critics continued to threaten him with prosecution in the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs.
“How can you send to prison a President declaring war on the drug? I already said I am willing to rot in jail for the Filipino. Don’t you understand that? So why keep on threatening or intimidating me and calling my attention? You’re too corny,” Mr. Duterte said, after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned that she was closely following developments in drug war.
In November 2016, Mr. Duterte said he might follow Russia’s move to withdraw from the ICC, describing it as “useless.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin that month signed a decree to withdraw Russia from the ICC. It was largely symbolic, however, because like the Unites States, Russia had not ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.
Amid threats to hale him to the ICC for the killings, President Duterte said he would face the consequences.
“I will do what I say in public and I am ready to face the consequences,” Mr. Duterte told a press conference on March 13 last year.
Days later, before flying for a three-day visit to Myanmar and Thailand, Mr. Duterte told reporters, “I will not be intimidated by the ICC [and] impeachment.”
Last July, he dared his detractors to file more cases against him in the ICC, saying, “You file cases against me. Just give me the right to be heard.”
On Feb. 9, a day after Bensouda said she was opening a preliminary examination into the alleged crimes in the war on drugs in the Philippines, Mr. Duterte said the ICC prosecutor should explain why she decided to investigate him when there were other countries in Asia where “massacres” were happening.
“There are many massacres there now in all parts of Asia and yet you people want to go after me. You better clear that up because I will withdraw from the ICC,” the President said in a speech in Davao City.
On March 14, Mr. Duterte announced that he was pulling the Philippines out of the ICC. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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