PH chief executive defiant over UNHRC probe of drug war
President Duterte said he would only face trial before a Philippine court should he be tried for drug-related deaths during his term. “Look, as I have told you before ladies and gentlemen of the world, including all the governments there, I will only be tried or face a trial in a Philippine court presided by a Filipino judge, prosecuted by a Filipino,” Duterte said in a television interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. “I will not answer a Caucasian asking question or white man there. You must be stupid. Who are you? I am a Filipino, we have our courts here. Why would you have to bring me somewhere else? I would not like that,” he said. He insisted that there is no need for foreign intervention to probe whether he is liable for the deaths or not. “I have my country. It’s working, I know it’s working. Justice is working here,” he said. The President’s statements came in response to a question on whether he would cut ties with Iceland, which drafted the resolution calling for a UNHRC investigation. READ: UN Rights Council adopts reso on PH drug war Last week, the UNHRC voted to authorize the high commissioner to prepare a comprehensive report on the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines’ war on illegal drugs. In February last year, the International Criminal Court also launched a preliminary examination of the drug war killings to determine if a full-blown investigation is needed. A month after that, Duterte announced the Philippines would withdraw from the ICC. The withdrawal took effect on March 17. Citing the Rome Statute, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the ICC “retains its jurisdiction over crimes committed during the time in which the state was party to the statute.” The ICC can prosecute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. “My office’s independent and impartial preliminary examination into the situation in the Philippines continues,” she said in a statement. At least Filipinos working in Iceland may be affected if the country will cut diplomatic ties with the Nordic country, Duterte said. He said, however, that he would not sit idly by if Reykjavík moved against Filipinos in the country. Earlier, the Palace said Duterte was “seriously considering” cutting ties with Iceland.