Philippines to Withdraw from the ICC Immediately: Duterte

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano gestures as he gave a previlege speech at the Session Hall in Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City on Monday

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano gestures as he gave a previlege speech at the Session Hall in Senate of the Philippines in Pasay City on Monday

Duterte also rejected the ICC rule that says a withdrawal from the body requires a one-year waiting period, concluding that the Philippines is out "effective immediately".

President Rodrigo Duterte announced Wednesday that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of a treaty that created the International Criminal Court, where he is facing a possible complaint over thousands of suspects killed in his anti-drug crackdown.

Harry Roque, the presidential spokesman, also predicted in a separate TV interview that the country's withdrawal would result in an "avalanche" of countries also leaving the ICC.

The decision was reached, as the firebrand President took a swipe at the UN's alleged attempt to depict him as "ruthless and heartless violator of human rights", and the ICC's plan to have jurisdiction over him.

The Philippines on Friday informed the UN Secretary-General of its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

As of October 2017, 123 countries, including the Philippines, were party to the treaty, which established four core worldwide crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. This comes after ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the court has begun its preliminary examination into Duterte's bloody drug war.

On the ICC's call for the Philippines not to leave the court, Roque said in an interview on GMA7's morning show, "Too late po, parang naka-alis na po ang tren [sa istasyon] (It's too late, the train has already left [the station])".

"The country in fact had a leading participation in the establishment of the ICC, as the Philippines actively participated in the drafting of the Rome Statute".

Trump eyes on tariffs on 100 Chinese goods
Trade Representative, is in charge of negotiating with countries appealing for exclusions; Ross is handling product exemptions. The Trump administration announced a 25 percent steel tariff and 10 pecent tariff on imported aluminium earlier this month.

"No, because if it pushes through, the President has not said that he will not cooperate", Roque said, when asked if the President is trying to avoid accountability, once the ICC finds probable cause to investigate his drug war. "You are to blame if ICC becomes part of the dustbin of history", he added.

Duterte's bloody campaign has caused global alarm and fierce criticism from some United Nations representatives, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who on Friday said Duterte should submit himself for a psychiatric examination.

Last month, Duterte said that he was willing to be put behind bars by the ICC if it meant that the war on drugs would continue until the end of his term. Later, Duterte said the ICC can never have jurisdiction over him.

The Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the ICC.

Lagman said Duterte "cannot overcome overwhelming evidence against him consisting of his own incriminating utterances of instigation and condonation, and unassailable records of extrajudicial killings consequent to his deadly war on drugs". "Neither is it a crime of aggression or a crime against humanity", he said.

Lagman expressed fear that the worldwide community will lose trust in the Philippines "because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states".

Duterte, who is buoyed by high popularity ratings at home, has fiercely defended the drug war as a battle to bring safety to the nation's 100 million people.

According to Rome Statute's Article 127, a member-state's withdrawal will take effect a year after it notifies the Secretary General of the UN.

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