Monday, 25 June, 2018

Duterte withdraws from global rights treaty following criticism of war on drugs

Duterte withdraws from international rights treaty following criticism of war on drugs Rodrigo Duterte says he will pull Philippines out of ICC, amid investigation into deadly drugs war
Sammy Stanley | 14 March, 2018, 16:19

President Rodrigo Duterte of Philiphines has announced the withdrawal of the country's ratification of the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) today.

The outspoken Philippine leader, who is accused of stoking the killings with inflammatory statements, has taken issue over the Philippines becoming the first southeast Asian nation put under a preliminary examination by the ICC prosecutor.

Duterte also invoked presidential immunity from lawsuits, which he said prevents the ICC from investigating him while he is in office.

Officially quitting the court requires a year's notice and experts say pulling out does not preclude an investigation of the deaths, which have drawn global concern.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Friday that Duterte needs to see a psychiatrist over his crude comments, including a threat to slap U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, and the inclusion of U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on a list of alleged communist terrorists operating in the country.

The ICC's examination was premature, he added, and "effectively created the impression that I am to be charged ... for serious crimes falling under its jurisdiction". He said the Rome Statute that established the tribunal for heinous leaders can not be enforced in the Philippines because it has not been made public as required by law after Filipino senators ratified it in 2011.

But even as early as October 13, 2016, when Duterte had only been in office less than four months, the ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement that she was "deeply concerned" over reports of extra-judicial killings.

"International Criminal Court? Bullshit", he said during a speech in November 2016.

Nirav Modi Effect: RBI Stops Letters of Undertaking For Overseas Credit
But these LoUs were rolled over beyond the expiry date and used to leverage one of the biggest frauds in Indian banking history. In the case of letters of credit and bank guarantees, domestic banks issue these in favour of the exporter, or seller's, bank.

Countries can only withdraw one year after announcing their withdrawal, according to the guiding principles of the ICC.

He added: "However, President Duterte won't save himself from ICC investigation by withdrawing the Philippines as a State Party to the Rome Statute".

On Wednesday he repeated that defence, citing "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on his person as well my administration".

'The acts allegedly committed by me are neither genocide nor war crimes.

"The deaths occurring in the process of legitimate police operation lacked the intent to kill", said Mr Duterte.

Duterte announced he is withdrawing the Philippines from the Rome Statute which gives the Hague-based ICC the authority to investigate crimes on its soil.

Duterte "welcomes the preliminary examination because he is sick and exhausted of being accused of the commission of crimes against humanity", Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said when the examination was announced.

Duterte's spokesperson Harry Roque, in a response said the ICC lacked jurisdiction over the case, calling the ICC a "court of last resort" and the Philippine courts were fully functioning.

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