Philip­pines may with­draw from ICC

> Duterte threat­ens to copy Rus­sia’s exit

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MANILA: Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte has said he might fol­low Rus­sia’s step to with­draw from the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC).

Duterte called the court “use­less” and railed against the United States and other Western na­tions, which have ac­cused him of il­le­gal killings as part of his ag­gres­sive crack­down on drugs.

“They are use­less, those in the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal (Court).

“They (Rus­sia) with­drew. I might fol­low,” he said in com­ments ahead of his de­par­ture for Lima to at­tend an Asia-Pa­cific sum­mit.

Duterte said that if Rus­sia and China were to cre­ate a “new order” then the Philip­pines would be the first to join it.

He also ap­peared to blame the United Na­tions for fail­ing to pre­vent wars all over the world.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin signed an order to with­draw his coun­try’s sig­na­ture from the ICC’s found­ing treaty on Wed­nes­day.

He may have been “em­bold­ened” to do so by the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, the di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre on Con­flict, Rights and Jus­tice at Univer­sity of Lon­don has said.

“The ICC is hold­ing an event now in The Hague, there have been three African with­drawals and on the heels of that we have the elec­tion of a US pres­i­dent who is not go­ing to be sup­port­ive,” Dr Les­lie Vin­ja­muri told The In­de­pen­dent.

“Rus­sia’s a lit­tle bit em­bold­ened by the elec­tion of Trump.”

Duterte is seek­ing a meet­ing with Putin in Lima this week­end, which comes as he pur­sues an in­de­pen­dent for­eign pol­icy aimed at wean­ing the Philip­pines off de­pen­dence on long­time ally the United States.

Duterte, known for his frank state­ments, spec­u­lated that Rus­sia’s ICC move might be be­cause of its air strikes in Syria.

“What could be the rea­son? I re­ally would not know,” he said.

“Maybe to pro­tect what they are do­ing in Syria, the in­ces­sant bomb­ing and the killing of civil­ians.”

The Philip­pines be­came a mem­ber of the ICC in 2011, but last month the court’s chief prose­cu­tor ex­pressed alarm over Duterte’s war on drugs and the more than 2,400 peo­ple killed.

Fa­tou Ben­souda said in a state­ment that the tri­bunal may be able to pros­e­cute the per­pe­tra­tors of the killings.

Duterte said he was an­noyed about the crit­i­cism he had re­ceived and that “no­body was lis­ten­ing” to his rea­sons for hav­ing the crack­down, in­clud­ing US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. – The In­de­pen­dent

AFPPIX

Stu­dents cheer in sup­port as oth­ers ar­rive to sit for the an­nual Col­lege Scholas­tic Abil­ity Test, a stan­dard­ised exam for col­lege en­trance, at a high school in Seoul yes­ter­day.

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