Malacañang: PH to withdraw from ICC


Philippines To Withdraw From International Criminal Court - Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced that he would pull out the Philippines from the Rome Statute which it signed, along with 122 other countries, creating the International Court (ICC) to try individuals accused of international crimes.

The ICC last month started a preliminary examination to establish whether crimes against humanity may have taken place during Duterte's deadly war on drugs, and whether the ICC had jurisdiction to take on the case.

The complaint, which says Duterte is complicit in the illegal deaths of thousands of Filipinos during his war on drugs, was "a waste of the court's time and resources" and the examination would be the end of the process, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

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

Since then, over 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed by Philippine National Police officers or unknown gunmen, according to Human Rights Watch.

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"The very considerations upon which the Philippines agreed to be a signatory of the Rome Statute have not been observed nor complied, with hence the rescission of such agreement or the withdrawal of the our country's ratification of the Rome Statute is in order", he added.

Roque said he had discussed the ICC issue for two hours the previous night with Duterte, a former prosecutor, adding that the president more than willing to face trial.

The ICC earlier announced it will begin preliminary examination on the administration's controversial war on drugs. A complaint was filed with the ICC by a Philippine lawyer past year.

Trillanes said the examination "should jolt Duterte into realizing that he is not above the law".

Duterte said it was this "violation of due process and the presumption of innocence expressly guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution and recognized no less by the Rome Statute" that led to the decision.

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"There appears to be a concerted effort on those aforesaid United Nation officials to paint me as a ruthless and heartless violator of human rights", he added.

Police say those thousands of killings were during legitimate anti-drugs operations in which the suspects had violently resisted arrest.

Also, Duterte said the ICC could not subject the Philippine President to any investigation during his tenure due to the doctrine of immunity from lawsuit while in office.

"Given that the ICC shows a propensity for failing to give due respect to the State Parties of the Rome Statute, and that there is clear bias on the part of the United Nations against the Philippines, the Philippines may very well consider withdrawing from the Rome Statute", Duterte said in a statement, referring to the court's founding treaty.

"An worldwide law can not supplant, prevail or diminish domestic law".

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