Philippines to withdraw from International Criminal Court


Manila slams UN rights chief

He said the Philippine leader "needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric examination".

Philippine foreign minister Alan Peter Cayetano hit back on Saturday at a United Nations official for "irresponsible and disrespectful" comments about President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday.

Discussing the allegations against Tauli-Corpuz in a March 9 press conference, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, provocatively suggested that Duterte should see a psychiatrist.

While official government data show at least 4,000 deaths in police anti-drug operations since July 2016, human rights groups such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) estimate that up to 12,000 people could have fallen victim to Duterte's policies.

The Government petition included Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, appointed in 2014 as United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, who was listed as a senior member of the Maoist rebel group.

The bloodshed during the war on drugs, Duterte's signature policy, has caused global alarm and fierce criticism from several United Nations rapporteurs and human rights officials.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday announced that he would pull out the Philippines from the Rome Statute which it signed, along with 122 other countries, creating the International Court (ICC) to try individuals accused of international crimes.

China recently urged the global community, including the Office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, to respect the Philippines' sovereignty and view its campaign against illegal drugs and terrorism in an "unbiased and objective way". "I take full responsibility", Mr Duterte said.

Duterte conceded that human rights investigators would likely be angered by his advice, but he insisted silence in response to their questions is legal under Philippine constitutional law.

"The acts allegedly committed by me are neither genocide nor war crimes".

Duterte also argued that ICC does not have jurisdiction over his person since the Rome Statute could not actually be enforced in the country.

He also threatened to cancel the Philippines' ICC membership and said European lawyers were "rotten", "stupid", and had a "brain like a pea". "If you investigate me, I'll slap you", Duterte said at the time, according to Rappler online news website.

Duterte has long denied the accusations of human rights abuses and contends the drug issue is one for domestic law enforcement.

When asked if the President will inform the ICC about his decision, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the President has directed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to "give notice that we are withdrawing as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court".

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