Philippines' Duterte moves to quit International Criminal Court

Philippines' Duterte moves to quit International Criminal Court

THE Philippines' withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not stop the preliminary examination of allegations of human rights violations against President Rodrigo Duterte, opposition lawmakers said Wednesday, March 14.

Lagman further pointed out that the withrawal can not derail the ongoing preliminary examination of Duterte's alleged crimes against humanity in relation to his administration's drug war.

But Roque has also said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case because the tribunal was intended as a "court of last resort" and the Philippine courts were fully functioning.

Human rights activists say Duterte's vow to kill thousands of illicit drug dealers have led police to carry out extrajudicial killings of suspected dealers and users.

About 4,000 mostly urban poor Filipinos have been killed by police in the past 19 months in a brutal crackdown that has alarmed the global community.

'I will invoke my power of supervision and control and will review (the) dismissal, ' Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, quoted the president as saying during a joint command conference with police and military officials on Tuesday evening.

"I therefore declare and forthwith give notice. that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately", he added.

Duterte's bloody campaign has caused worldwide alarm and fierce criticism from some United Nations representatives, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who on Friday said Duterte should submit himself for a psychiatric examination.

While President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies may want that to happen, the Rome Statute explicitly says there is a one-year period before a withdrawal takes effect. Sabio is the lawyer of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who said he killed people in Davao City upon the orders of then then-Mayor Duterte.

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He also defended the police officers involved in the deadly drug operations, saying they "lacked the intent to kill".

Police have denied the charges, insisting they only shot armed suspects in self-defense during legitimate anti-drug raids.

Last month, he indicated he would cooperate with the ICC examination and even said he would prefer a firing squad to prison.

"Looks like they are really afraid. Why?" The Philippines says that is far from the case.

Once the office of Guterres receives the letter, the Philippine government has to wait for a year before the withdrawal takes effect. He said the Rome Statute that established the tribunal for heinous leaders can not be enforced in the Philippines because it has not been made public as required by law after Filipino senators ratified it in 2011.

"I will gladly do it for my country", Duterte said.

The president's decision has been widely criticised by human rights advocates and his political foes.

Senator Antonio Trillanes said Duterte was withdrawing "because he knows that there is no way out for him in the ICC".

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