Philippines' Duterte moves to quit International Criminal Court

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"Relevant sides of the worldwide community, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, shall respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and the will of its people, view the outcomes of the Philippines' fight against drug and terrorism in a comprehensive, unbiased and objective way, and support its efforts to move forward its human rights cause in light of its national conditions", China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said Monday in a press briefing in Beijing.

MALACAÑANG on Monday, March 12, believed President Rodrigo Duterte is not likely to fulfill his threat to feed United Nations (UN) experts to crocodiles as "there will be no occasion to push them".

"As demonstrated above, the very considerations upon which the Philippines agreed to be a signatory to the Rome Statute have not been observed nor complied with hence the Philippines hereby withdraws from the Rome Statute", he added. "Do not bother", Duterte said on March 2.

The statement had not been signed by Duterte, but presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed it was authentic.

"Instead of attacking the messenger, states and other stakeholders should engage and address the human rights concerns raised by mandate-holders", he said in Geneva.

Zeid was standing up for his colleagues - UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, who the government wants declared as a terrorist; and UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, who has been on the receiving end of Duterte's tirades.

The preliminary examination is not an investigation, the ICC said, but a process to see if there is basis to proceed with an investigation.

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The Philippines is not the first country to quit the ICC.

"I think that would be the correct response of any member state of the United Nations", Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

The President made the stern warning, as he also reiterated his order to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to remain silent, if they are asked about the supposed human rights violations linked to his anti-narcotics drive.

He said when the Philippines became a signatory to the Rome Statute, it was on the assumption that the global accepted principles of justice in relation to its constitutional requirement on due process would be upheld.

The Philippines, under previous President Benigno Aquino, ratified in 2011 the Rome Statute which underpins the ICC, giving the tribunal authority to investigate crimes on its soil.

He reiterated that the drug-related killings "lacked the intent to kill" and were merely the result of legitimate police operations.

"I therefore declare and forthwith give notice, as president of the Republic of the Philippines, that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately", he said in a statement. In the country, a law must be published in the Official Gazette or newspapers before it takes effect, he said. "You can not acquire jurisdiction over me, not in a million years", he said.

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