President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would prepare to defend himself before the International Criminal Court (ICC) once his presidency expires.

In a recorded address aired on Monday night, the president said he would wait for charges to be filed against him.

“[M]aghintay ako sa maraming dada nang dada diyan ng kaso. Hintayin ko kayo. I will prepare
for my defense [sa] ICC na ‘yan,” he said.

“Huwag lang kayong magsinungaling. Kung totoo lang, tutal may record naman. Huwag kayong mag-imbento na ‘yung namatay ng malaria diyan icha-charge ninyo sa akin. Kalokohan na ‘yan,” he added.

In September, the ICC greenlit a probe on drug war deaths as 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.

Duterte maintained that the ICC did not have jurisdiction over the Philippines.

“May sarili kaming judicial system dito. Huwag kayong makialam. At saka sinabi ko, you never acquire jurisdiction over my person. Iyan talaga
ang totoo maski anong baliktarin ninyo,” he said.

The Philippines pulled out from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, in March 2019.

Since his stint as Davao mayor, Duterte has been vocal about killing criminals to rid the country of illegal drugs.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque previously said that crimes against humanity were defined under the statute of the ICC law as a widespread and systematic attack against civilians, perpetrated with the intent to harm civilians.

Defending the administration’s purge of drugs that has caused the deaths of at least 6,000 Filipinos, Roque said drug-busting cops in the country did not “kill civilians willingly because they were civilians.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also claimed the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute disqualified the ICC from “interfering” in the country’s affairs. John Ezekiel J. Hirro