Published: Sun, March 18, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Philippines Formally Serves Notice Of Withdrawal From ICC

Philippines Formally Serves Notice Of Withdrawal From ICC

"Ang sinabi ko lang withdraw, simply because to announce to the world- and I will convince everybody now who are under the treaty now sa ICC, get out".

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday, March 18, that he will convince states part of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to "get out" because it is a "rude" organization produced by an "EU-sponsored" treaty.

Cayetano lamented that the ICC has been used in a "well-orchestrated campaign to mislead the worldwide community, to crucify President Duterte and the Philippines by distorting the human rights situation in the country".

"You know, if it's not published, there is no law", Duterte said Sunday in a speech before the annual graduation of cadets at the Philippine Military Academy in northern Baguio city.

Duterte lashed out at the war crimes tribunal two days after his government officially notified the United Nations of his decision to pull the Philippines out of the Rome Statute.

"It is not a document that was prepared by anybody".

The withdrawal came a month after ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced an investigation into thousands of extrajudicial killings that allegedly occurred under Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs since July 1, 2016.

Duterte says because of that technical flaw the global court can never have jurisdiction over him, "not in a million years". "So there is no reason to withdraw something which is not existing", he said.

Commission on Human Rights chief Chito Gascon said that the Philippines has historically been at the forefront of the fight for worldwide justice, but that Duterte's decision "constitutes a reversal that will be viewed as encouraging impunity to continue".

He said the principle of complementarity states that the ICC would only exercise jurisdiction if the State party of the accused is unable or unwilling to prosecute the crime.

Should the Philippines fully withdraw from the court it would follow the African nation of Burundi, which in October 2017 became the first country to leave.

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