Duterte tells other countries to leave ICC: It's all bull!

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday the Philippines has begun the process for its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) when it officially served notice to the United Nations that it has made a decision to opt out of the Rome Statute.

He added that the ICC therefore has no jurisdiction over him, "not in a million years".

Last week, Duterte announced the Philippines would be withdrawing from the ICC, the world's only permanent war crimes court, following what he called "outrageous" comments by United Nations officials and violation of due process.

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In its letter dated March 15, the Philippines decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, a treaty that created the ICC, was the country's "principled stand against those who politicize and weaponize human rights, even as its independent and well-functioning organs and agencies continue to exercise jurisdiction over complaints, issues, problems and concerns arising from its efforts to protect its people".

Duterte is facing a possible complaint before the world tribunal for the thousands of killings of drug suspects during his time in office.

"I will convince everybody now under the treaty at the ICC: "Get out, get out, it's rude".". Critics say Duterte can't withdraw from the court by himself and may need the approval of the Senate, which ratified the Rome Statute in 2011.

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On Wednesday, Duterte announced the Philippines is withdrawing from the treaty "effective immediately".

Duterte's came under fire from human rights groups, who said he was trying to evade accountability by backing out of the ICC. Chairman of the Philippines' Commission on Human Rights Chito Gascon has branded Duterte's move as "a reversal that will be viewed as encouraging impunity to continue".

Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, said on Thursday the ICC examination into the killing of drug suspects "violates the very fundamental basis by which we gave our consent to be bound by the ICC", referring to the principle of complementarity.

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The court, which was established in 2002 in The Hague, can only intervene when a state is unable or unwilling to carry out an investigation and prosecute perpetrators of heinous crimes like crimes against humanity, genocide, aggression and war atrocities.

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