ICC Is Investigating Duterte, Who Suddenly Wants Out

He says Philippines is withdrawing from the ICC, 'effective immediately'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2018 7:57 AM CDT
Duterte Called the ICC 'Bulls---.' Now He Wants Out
In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the troops during the 82nd anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has had a bumpy relationship with the International Criminal Court. He once described it as "bulls---," then in February said he welcomed its preliminary investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity during Duterte's war on drugs. Now, he says he'll pull the Philippines from the court altogether, "effective immediately," though the BBC reports that formally withdrawing from the ICC is a year-long process. "It is apparent that the ICC is being utilized as a political tool against the Philippines," he said, while blasting the "baseless, unprecedented, and outrageous attacks" directed at him by the UN. The Guardian looks at the recent-most bad blood between the two that apparently spurred those comments.

Duterte's government put a UN special rapporteur on a list of communist terrorists, leading the body's commissioner for human rights to say last week that Duterte needs "some sort of psychiatric examination." Should the Philippines successfully withdraw its ratification of the treaty that created the ICC, it would be only the second country to do so, after Burundi. But that wouldn't protect Duterte from a potential trial, as the treaty states "withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the court in connection with criminal investigations." Still, the BBC notes it could make the Philippines less cooperative. Speaking of cooperation, the country's Senate on Monday flagged the constitutional provision that requires the Senate to agree to the revocation of any international treaty. Duterte contends the Senate failed to publicize its 2011 ratification of the treaty as required by law, reports the AP. (More Rodrigo Duterte stories.)

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