Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Duterte quits worldwide court over drugs war

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demands review of dropped cases vs alleged drug kingpins Duterte withdraws from international rights treaty following criticism of war on drugs
Kenny Thornton | 14 March, 2018, 18:57

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will withdraw his country's ratification of the International Criminal Court's (ICC) Rome Statute, due to what he said were attacks by United Nations officials and violations of due process by the ICC, according to a draft statement.

"I'll be there", he apparently said to the ICC. The London-based rights group Amnesty International called the withdrawal "misguided" and "cowardly".

Zeid demanded that the Human Rights Council, which counts the Philippines among its 47 member countries, "must take a strong position" on the issue, and insisted "these attacks can not go unanswered".

The ICC's examination was premature, he added, and "effectively created the impression that I am to be charged ... for serious crimes falling under its jurisdiction".

He said the global criminal court has also been utilized as a "political tool against the Philippines" following the implication of culpability the preliminary examination by the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bansouda "unduly and maliciously created".

With the move, the administration expects the ICC to no longer have jurisdiction over the chief executive.

"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 in a statement.

The lawmaker pointed to Article 127 of the statute which states that any withdrawal "shall come into effect one year after receipt of notice".

In February, the ICC launched a preliminary inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Duterte.

Last month, the ICC announced that it would begin a preliminary examination on alleged extrajudicial killings associated with the president's bloody drug war.

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"The Philippines' intention to walk away from the ICC is unfortunate, but it doesn't shut the door on the prosecutor's scrutiny of the government's horrendous track record of grave abuses".

"It is apparent that the ICC is being utilised as a political tool against the Philippines", Duterte said in a statement, adding the ICC examination was "unduly and maliciously created".

However, the 72-year-old said that he is not planning to wait, and that the withdrawal would take place immediately.

According to Villarin, the Senate passed a resolution previous year which requires Senate concurrence if the country withdraws from a treaty.

"Also, withdrawal from ICC takes effect 1 [year] after notification & [without] prejudice to any pending matter".

"You can not acquire jurisdiction over me, not in a million years", Duterte said last week.

"This is a penal law, and should be published pursuant to the ruling of the Supreme Court.What the Court says is the provisions of a penal law be published so the people will know exactly what is being punished by the treaty", Roque said. "They are patently self-serving and unilaterally rearranges the cosmos of global law and its principles".

He also referred to what he claimed was an attempt by the ICC prosecutor to seek jurisdiction over him "in violation of due process and presumption of innocence".

In a 15-page statement released to the media, the President chose to withdraw the country's signature from the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the ICC, following what the President said was the lack of respect and clear bias against his government.

The ICC is an intergovernmental organization located in The Hague, which prosecutes individuals convicted of crimes against humanity and war crimes when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals.

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