Philippines' Duterte moves to quit International Criminal Court

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demands review of dropped cases vs alleged drug kingpins

Duterte withdraws from international rights treaty following criticism of war on drugs

President Duterte is pulling the Philippines out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of its efforts to investigate him for possible crimes against humanity during his bloody campaign against drugs.

Roque was a former co-chairperson of the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, which lobbied for the Philippines to ratify the Rome Statute and become an ICC member.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo announced earlier Wednesday that the President had ordered the withdrawal of the Philippines' ratification of the Rome Statute, which created the ICC.

The prime minister says the president of the Philippines was receptive to concerns he raised about human rights.

The preliminary investigation is still ongoing as of Wednesday, according to the ICC page on Duterte's 'war on drugs' campaign.

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

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

But Roque has also said the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case because the tribunal was intended as a "court of last resort" and the Philippine courts were fully functioning.

The ICC is the first permanent institution having power to exercise jurisdiction over persons for the most serious crimes of worldwide concern such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression, and is seen to help end impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes.

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. Duterte previously said not in a million years would the ICC have jurisdiction over him.

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The president's decision has been widely criticised by human rights advocates and his political foes.

Duterte said the global court has been used as a "political tool against the Philippines" over its attempts to put him under its jurisdiction amid an inquiry into his war on illegal drugs.

Roque said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda violated the court's principle of complementarity by initiating a preliminary examination, .

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

The country's withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, should take effect one year after written notification of the withdrawal is received by the UN Secretary-General.

"Also, we can not get out of ICC jurisdiction just like that".

"This is a misguided and deeply regrettable move by President Duterte, and the latest signal that powerful individuals in the Philippines are more interested in covering up their own potential accountability for killings than they are in ensuring justice for the many victims of the country's brutal "war on drugs".

Philippine officials had initially said in February that the country was ready to cooperate but asked for fairness.

Duterte, however, argued that there was "fraud" committed in the process of making the Philippines sign the agreement, thus Manila has the right to withdraw "effective immediately".

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