President Rodrigo Duterte called the International Criminal Court (ICC) “bulls**t” on Monday and ranted about how he did not want to defend himself in front of white people.
“Itong ICC, bulls**t ito…Why would I defend or face an accusation before white people? You must be crazy. Iyong mga colonizers ito noon they have not atoned for their sins against the countries that they invaded, including the Philippines,” he said in his weekly address.
Last week, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer, sought authorization from The Hague tribunal to open an investigation into Duterte’s war on drugs.
Bensouda said there was “reasonable basis” to believe that a crime against humanity had been committed in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019 in the context of Duterte’s deadly campaign against drugs.
“Following a thorough preliminary examination process, the available information indicates that members of the Philippine National Police, and others acting in concert with them, have unlawfully killed between several thousand and tens of thousands of civilians during that time,” she said in a statement.
Since the document was issued on June 14, Duterte and his spokesman have been vocal about not participating in the probe.
Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque called it “legally erroneous” and that the report was built on media sources and “mere hearsay.”
“Kaya gusto kong sampalin ko ‘yang mga judges diyan. Loko-loko pala kayo e. My country — you want my country to go down the drain. Justice prosecutor ako. Of course. I can defend myself,” Duterte said.
The Philippines pulled out from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019.
A deeper investigation on Duterte and the administration’s war on drugs could be conducted if the ICC’s pre-trial chamber approves Bensouda’s request. John Ezekiel J. Hirro