The Philippine Senate has ratified the Rome Statute that established the ICC, but Duterte said the treaty was never enforced in the country because it was not published in the official government gazette, as required by law.
He said the “flawed” international court can never have jurisdiction over him, “not in a million years”.
Last month, an ICC prosecutor announced she was opening a preliminary examination into a complaint by a Filipino lawyer of suspected extrajudicial killings under Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, which could amount to crimes against humanity. The move angered Duterte, who announced last Wednesday that he was withdrawing the Philippine ratification of the Rome Statute “effective immediately”, citing “a concerted effort” by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and UN human rights officials “to paint me as a ruthless and heartless violator of human rights”.
“If it’s not published, there is no law,” Duterte said yesterday at the graduation of cadets at the Philippine Military Academy in northern Baguio city. There was no reason to withdraw from “something which is not existing”, he said, adding that he announced the withdrawal from the ICC treaty to draw the world’s attention to the issue he had with the international court.