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Manila informs UN of its withdrawal from the ICC

Written by Thailand News

The Philippines has officially notified the United Nations that it will withdraw from the treaty underpinning the International Criminal Court which is investigating President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, The Manila Times Online reported on Saturday (March 17).

Philippine permanent representative to the UN in New York Teodoro Lucsin Jr said on Twitter that he submitted the letter to UN Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti as secretary-general Antonio Guterres was abroad.

“It is my duty to give (Violtti the letter of withdrawal).  A sad day but a day sure to come because human rights has been politicized.  We resisted US pressure not to join until we finally signed on only to have it weaponized against our democracy fighting an existential threat from the drug trade.”Lucsin tweeted.

Manila’s move came two days after Duterte announced the Philippines would quit the ICC over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his bloody crackdown on narcotics amounted to crimes against humanity.

Police have claimed they have killed roughly 4,000 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups allege the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder.

On Thursday, Duterte said in a letter to the UN that it was pulling out of the Rome Statute.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, speaking from Manila, said the Philippines was quitting due to “the well orchestrated campaign to mislead the international community, to crucify President Duterte…by distorting the human rights situation in the country.”

Officially quitting the court requires a year’s notice and experts say pulling out does not preclude an investigation of the killings.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said President Duterte was not avoiding a possible indictment from the ICC and was willing to face it head-on.

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