International Criminal Court Investigates Duterte for Crimes against Humanity

Lynette PayneFeb 12, 2018

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has announced a "preliminary examination" into Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's alleged crimes against humanity committed as part of his deadly war on drugs.

Duterte, who has overseen the bloody anti-drug crackdown since taking power in 2016, acknowledged that a previous Manila government ratified the treaty that established the ICC, but claimed it had not passed into local law because of a technicality. Go ahead. It would be my pleasure to go to prison for my country.

The government has many times denied involvement in summary killings, saying the almost 4,000 drug suspects killed in police operations had put up violent resistance, prompting officers to defend themselves. So be it. Find a country where they kill people with a firing squad and I'm ready. Critics say police and vigilantes kill defenseless and innocent suspects in slums then plant drugs or guns on them.

"If you haul me into a rigmarole of trial and trial, no need".

"He (Duterte) is very confident that the prosecutor will not go beyond a preliminary examination", Roque said. Find me guilty, of course.

The ICC's preliminary examination was triggered by the communication filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio in April past year accusing Duterte and other government senior officials of committing crimes against humanity due to the war on drugs.

Sabio claimed that the President and 11 other officials were liable for murder in the government's drive against illegal drugs where police operations resulted in the death of thousands of Filipinos.

This is considered the first step prior to a full-blown investigation into possible charges of crimes against humanity.

"Our domestic courts are able and willing to prosecute these crimes".

The ICC complaints came from a lawyer and two lawmakers and include the accounts of two self-confessed hit men who say they killed at Duterte's behest when he was a city mayor, and public statements he made as president that they say amounted to "shoot-to-kill" orders.

However, Mr Duterte believes the ICC does not have jurisdiction in the Philippines because its accession to the Rome Statute was never announced in the country's official gazette, a legal requirement.

"He also vented his anger at allegations of extrajudicial killings during his campaign, saying the term could not be defined".

The president denies being behind extrajudicial killings, and has frequently lashed out at any foreign entity criticizing his drug war, be they the U.S. president, the European Union, the United Nations, or even the ICC itself.

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