Philippines’ Duterte lashes out at ICC over drug war probe

International Criminal Court (ICC)
International Criminal Court (ICC)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed out at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over a pending probe into killings linked to his administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs.

In a late-night televised address on Monday, Duterte said the ICC was “bullshit” and that he will not cooperate with their investigation.

“Why would I defend [myself] or face an accusation before white people? You must be crazy,” he said.

“These are former colonisers, they have not atoned for their sins against the countries they invaded, including the Philippines.”

“Now they are trying to set up a court outside our country and make us liable to face them,” he added.

“Our laws are different. Our criminal procedure is very different. How are you supposed to get justice there?”

The ICC began a preliminary examination into the Philippine government’s crackdown on illegal drugs on February 8, 2018.

Las week, outgoing chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was seeking a full probe, citing “reasonable basis to believe that the crime against humanity of murder” has been committed under the war on illegal drugs campaign.

Duterte, who was elected president in 2016 on an anti-crime platform, said he will readily face accusations “before a Filipino judge.”

More than 7,000 people have been killed in police operations against illegal drugs in the Philippines in the past five years. Human rights groups have alleged that the toll could even be three times that number.

Questions have also arisen about whether the suspects were extrajudicially killed by police and whether some of those killed actually had any role in drug sales.

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