ICC can't touch Duterte—Palace

The International Criminal Court has no authority to arrest President Rodrigo Duterte over the alleged “crimes against humanity” committed in the government’s anti-narcotics campaign, Malacañang said Sunday.

Duterte also was not bothered that the ICC would finalize the results of its preliminary investigation to determine if it would probe the situation in the Philippines, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“They have no jurisdiction. Whatever they will do, nothing will happen, Panelo said in a radio interview.

Panelo earlier said the Palace believed the ICC would rule it had no jurisdiction over the country and the “false allegations” of state-sponsored killings did not fall within the court’s definition of crimes against humanity.

Former Bayan Rep. Neri Colmenares on Saturday claimed the President would struggle in his last two years in office “if a warrant is issued for his arrest worldwide.”

“That’s just a wish of former Congressman Colmenares. That’s just his fervent wish. That will never happen, Panelo said.

The ICC earlier reported it was seeking to determine by 2020 if there was a need to conduct a full-blown investigation into the Philippines’ campaign against illegal drugs.

The Philippines pulled out from the ICC early this year after the ICC launched in February 2018 a preliminary examination of Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs based on the communication given by lawyer Jude Sabio, who accused the President of committing “crimes against humanity.”

The government has repeatedly said the deaths of suspected drug offenders were not state-sponsored.

The Commission on Human Rights said it was willing to cooperate with the ICC on the case if it would be tapped for information. Panelo, meanwhile, brushed this aside.

“It’s up to them. We don’t interfere in the affairs of the Commission on Human Rights,” he said.

“No, [the President is not bothered]. I think it’s Colmenares who’s bothered.”

In a speech delivered on Nov. 30, Duterte said the ICC could not prosecute for a “thousand years.”

In August 2018, the families of the victims of the government’s war on drugs filed a second complaint against Duterte before the ICC.

Topics: International Criminal Court , Rodrigo Duterte , Malacañang , Salvador Panelo , Neri Colmenares , Jude Sabio
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