Jail me, hang me: Philippines' Duterte says won't answer to ICC- REUTERS
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte dared the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday to jail him or hang him over alleged extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs, but said he would refuse to cooperate with foreigners if put on trial.
His remarks were the latest vows of defiance against the court in The Hague that has yet to decide whether to investigate him over thousands of deaths in his crackdown, during which activists say crimes against humanity were committed.
“You do not scare me that you will jail me in the International Criminal Court. I will never allow myself to answer these whites,” Duterte said in a speech to military cadets and reservists.
“I will never, never, never answer any question coming from you. It’s bullshit to me. I am only responsible to the Filipino. Filipinos will judge.”
“He added: “And if you hang me for all what I did, go ahead. It will be my pleasure.”
Duterte has also blasted the United Nations after its human rights body approved a resolution in July to investigate alleged abuses in the Philippines.
The maverick former mayor has repeatedly taunted the ICC and threatened to slap or arrest its prosecutor, who in February 2018 announced a preliminary examination was being conducted into the drugs killings.
Duterte, 74, responded by unilaterally cancelling his country’s membership of the court a month later, without legislative approval, saying it had deprived him of a presumption of innocence. Amnesty International called his move “misguided” and “cowardly”.
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Ph President Duterte: "Me, Russia and China against the world"- THE AUSTRALIAN
Rodrigo Duterte to join Vladimir Putin’s ‘new world order’
Yesterday, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he was ready to join a “new world order” led by Moscow and Beijing. He flew to meet President Putin on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Peru.
A day earlier, Mr Putin withdrew Russia’s signature from the founding statute of the ICC, citing dissatisfaction with its “one-sided” work. The withdrawal is largely symbolic because Russia never ratified the treaty. It appeared to be a response to a report published by the court the previous day saying that Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine could amount to an act of war. Amnesty International said that Moscow’s move was “cynical”.
Mr Duterte said the court “battered” small countries while leaving powerful ones untouched. A prosecutor suggested last month that the court could have jurisdiction over extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ war on drugs.
The president, who has announced his intention to sever a 65-year-old security treaty with Washington, said that he would embrace an end to American global hegemony. “If China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join,” he said.
The Russian withdrawal follows a wave of defections from African countries, which accused it of institutional bias. The court’s effectiveness has also been undermined by the failure of several major powers to join, notably the United States, China and India.
Bill Clinton signed the statute on behalf of Washington only for George W Bush to withdraw his approval in the same manoeuvre as Moscow. Russia’s retraction, on the opening day of the court’s annual conference, caused panic after the decisions of South Africa, Burundi and Gambia to quit.
Sidiki Kaba, the Senegalese president of the court’s assembly of state parties, urged the countries not to leave as he opened the meeting in the Hague.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations human rights chief, called the departures a “stern test” for the court.
“A new trend of isolationist and unprincipled leadership is building up across the world,” he said. Russia said Mr Putin had decided to withdraw support because “the court did not become truly independent”.
Fatou Bensouda, the court’s chief prosecutor, said that Moscow’s move would not halt an investigation into alleged war crimes during the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.
She also highlighted a preliminary inquiry into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, which could lead to an investigation involving American troops. The chances of Americans ending up in the Hague’s dock are slim, given that the US is not a member.
The court is yet to prosecute anyone for war crimes outside Africa, although it is conducting several investigations elsewhere, including in Ukraine and the Palestinian territories.
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