On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte threatens to follow Russia’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to their outspoken concern on the administration’s bloody war on drugs.
On Wednesday, Moscow withdrew its signature from the ICC’s founding statute with the reasoning that the global court “did not live up the hopes associated with it and did not become truly independent.”
Before his departure for a state visit in Peru, the President stated in his speech, “I might follow [their lead]. Why? Tayo lang maliliit na binubugbog ng mga walanghiya.”
Duterte reasons out that the ICC is lenient when it comes to Syria and Iraq wherein bombings affect thousands of women and children.
Just last month, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda expressed she was “deeply concerned” over the lack of action from Philippine officials or how they seem to “condone” these alleged extra-judicial killings of drug suspects.
The United Nations treaty called the Rome Statute led to the creation of the ICC in 1998. It has jurisdiction over 124 territories, which includes the Philippines as it turned out to be a signatory 16 years ago.
The Hague-based tribunal hears cases of war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and as of most recent, crimes of aggression.
On December 28, 2000, Manila signed to be a part of the Rome Statute and this was ratified on August 30, 2011.
Earlier, in a frenzy, Duterte also threatened to leave the United Nations, which has openly criticized his campaign against crime but has not acted upon these words as of present.