Duterte Pulls Philippines Out Of International Criminal Court

Photo by reuters

By Emily Sullivan/npr.org – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose war on drugs has resulted in the deaths of over 12,000 people allegedly using and dealing drugs, has announced that the country will withdraw from the establishing treaty of the International Criminal Court.

His statement comes about a month after the ICC launched a preliminary investigation into those deaths. Human Rights Watch has called Duterte’s term a “human rights calamity,” as his administration “has rejected all domestic and international calls for accountability for these abuses, and instead has denied any government responsibility for the thousands of drug war deaths.”

Duterte, whose term began in June 2016, promised to kill every drug dealer and user in the Philippines in his presidential campaign. Police officials and vigilantes alike have contributed to the killings.

The ICC launches investigations when a member state is unwilling to carry out investigations and prosecute suspected perpetrators themselves. Duterte claims this is not the case: “The deaths [have occurred] in the process of legitimate police operation” who didn’t intend to kill, but acted in self-defense,” he said.

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