Duterte to withdraw PH from ICC ‘effective immediately’

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  • President Duterte has announced the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ratification of Rome Statute which created the ICC
  • This would mean ICC will no longer have jurisdiction over the Philippines
  • This comes weeks after the ICC announced it will start its preliminary examination on Duterte’s alleged ‘crime against humanity’ charges

MANILA, Philippines – In a surprising turn of events, President Rodrigo Duterte has announced the withdrawal of the Philippines from the United Nations (UN) treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement released on Wednesday by Presidential Legal Counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo, Duterte said he is withdrawing the Philippines from the ratification of Rome Statute ‘effective immediately’.

“I therefore declare and forthwith give notice, as the President of the Republic of the Philippines, that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately,” read the statement.

This comes weeks after the ICC announced it will start its preliminary examination based on the information filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio accusing the Philippine leader of committing crime against humanity.

Withdrawing the Philippines from Rome Statue would mean ICC would lose its jurisdiction over the country.

In the statement, Duterte has cited the “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous a*****s on my person as against my administration, engineered by the officials of the United Nations, as well as the attempt by the [ICC] special prosecutor to place my person within the jurisdiction of the [ICC].”

He also accused the UN of “conspiring” with ICC special prosecutor in depicting him as “ruthless and heartless violator of human rights who allegedly caused thousands of extrajudicial killings.”

“All these acts are in violation of due process and constitutional presumption of innocence,” said the President.

Furthermore, Duterte argued the ratification of Rome Statute signed by the Philippines last August 2011 was never published in the government’s Official Gazette and therefore is not “effective or enforceable” in the country.

“An international law cannot supplant, prevail, or diminish a domestic law,” Duterte reiterated.