PH withdraws from ICC

The ICC announced in February that it was launching a “preliminary examination” of Mr Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drugs

The ICC announced in February that it was launching a “preliminary examination” of Mr Duterte’s bloody crackdown on drugs

"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 a 15-page statement released to the media, the President made a decision to withdraw the country's signature from the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the ICC, following what the President said was the lack of respect and clear bias against his government.

The leader cited in a statement "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks" against him and his administration as the reason for withdrawing from the court, which hears cases of genocide and war crimes.

Mr Zeid has also taken aim at Mr Duterte, saying that he "needs to submit himself to some sort of psychiatric evaluation" for describing Ms Callamard as "malnourished" and referring to ICC prosecutor Fatou Besouda as "that black woman".

However, the country has yet to file a formal notice to withdraw from the global tribunal.

According to Villarin, the Senate passed a resolution a year ago which requires Senate concurrence if the country withdraws from a treaty.

Duterte's bloody campaign has caused worldwide alarm and fierce criticism from some United Nations representatives, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who on Friday said Duterte should submit himself for a psychiatric examination.

"On the merits, one of the elements of the crime against humanity is murder, which is the crime of unlawful killing, and that any killing in connection with the drug war could not be unlawful killing because they are valid, legitimate police action", Roque said.

This amid the court's preliminary examination of charges against the President, among them crimes against humanity for alleged abuses under his fierce anti-narcotics campaign.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a review of a decision by state prosecutors to dismiss complaints against several suspected drugs kingpins, amid outrage among the public and some of his allies about them walking free.

Adding pressure on Manila, in February, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva raised the country's human rights record with Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson calling on the Philippines to accept the visit of a UN Special Rapporteur. On several occasions, he called the worldwide body "useless" following ICC calls for probes into Duterte's notorious 'war on drugs.' .

It is "intended to escape accountability by present and even future officials for crimes committed against the people and humanity", Zarate said.

Duterte "welcomes the preliminary examination because he is sick and exhausted of being accused of the commission of crimes against humanity", Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said when the examination was announced.

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

Last month, he indicated he would cooperate with the ICC examination and even said he would prefer a firing squad to prison.

The case against Duterte was filed by Jude Sabio, lawyer of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato who earlier tagged the President in extrajudicial killings.

Created in 1998 through the Rome Statute, the ICC has jurisdiction over 124 of its members, including the Philippines.

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