Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Duterte Spokesman: Philippines' Withdrawal From ICC 'Beginning of End' for Court

Duterte Spokesman: Philippines' Withdrawal From ICC 'Beginning of End' for Court

The ICC is looking into President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war.

"No new countries will join because we are recognised as probably the number one defender of human rights and democracy in the world", added Mr Roque, a lawyer and prominent advocate for the Philippines joining the ICC in 2011.

Duterte said Wednesday that the court can not have jurisdiction over him because the Philippine Senate's ratification in 2011 of the Rome Statute that established the court was never publicized as required by law. He slammed the preliminary examination of ICC prosecutor Fatou Besouda against the country's war on drugs, and the "international bias" of UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Zed Ra'ad al-Hussein against the human rights situation in the country.

He said the Philippines' withdrawal has not been made official.

Global jurist groups and activists have criticised Mr Duterte for what they say is an attempt to evade justice.

Duterte said that even if the ICC has jurisdiction over him, the accusations against him "do not fall under the enumerated grounds" of the worldwide law.

Amnesty International called Duterte's decision "misguided" and "cowardly".

MANILA- The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday urged the Philippines not to push through with its plan to withdraw its ratification of the treaty that created the tribunal.

"A withdrawal would have no impact on on-going proceedings or any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective", the ICC said.

In response, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said Duterte needed to be submitted to a psychiatric examination.

Duterte's defiance is among the traits that make him wildly popular in the Philippines, where his crackdown has broad support.

But the maverick former mayor has hit back strongly and refused to change his approach, or accept that police may have executed suspected dealers, as activists allege. Officials have said police officers fired at them in self-defense, as the suspects put up violent resistance.

He reiterated that Duterte was willing to face the allegations against him but the ICC had no jurisdiction over him. If the court concludes this is so, they will begin an investigation.

Under the principle, the ICC can step in and exercise jurisdiction if states are unable or unwilling to investigate crimes. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that a case is poltiicized when a politician has filed it. Such a process typically takes years.

"Instead of trying to desperately evade his global obligations and escape accountability for his actions, President Duterte should just recognize the ICC processes and accord it due respect, " she said.

It's transformation into a potential rights-abusing pariah worthy of ICC indictment, regardless of eventual rulings or outcomes, will haunt Duterte's strongman legacy.

Duterte's critics argued otherwise.

Cayetano said the withdrawal was formally conveyed in a note verbale that Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Teodoro Locsin Jr. handed over to Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Chef de Cabinet of UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, at 6:07 p.m.

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