Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte denounced what he called “bulls***” Western threats to seek his indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his role in a bloody crackdown on drug dealers.
In a speech on Monday, Duterte, who has been accused of ordering extrajudicial killings in his anti-narcotics campaign since taking office in June, scolded the US government for what he called hypocritical threats to try him in the Hague-based tribunal, to which Washington is not a signatory.
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Duterte’s “war on drugs” has been linked to more than 2,500 deaths over the last five months.
The United States chose not to sign the ICC’s Rome Statute to protect former President George W Bush, Duterte said, without elaborating.
“America itself is threatening to jail me in the International Criminal Court,” Duterte said. “It is not a signatory of that body. Why? Because at that time, they were afraid Bush would face it.”
US state department spokesman, John Kirby said in a news briefing on Monday he was not aware of any such threat.
An ICC prosecutor last month said the international court may have jurisdiction to prosecute the perpetrators of Philippines killings.
“You scare me that you will jail me? International Criminal Court? Bulls***,” Duterte said during a speech.
For months, Duterte has been ridiculing concerns that extrajudicial killings could be taking place in his drugs war, and the US, EU and UN have been the preferred targets of his comments.
Duterte, a former mayor and prosecutor, said lawyers in Europe were “rotten”, “stupid”, and had a “brain like a pea”.
This month, Duterte said he might follow Russia’s move to withdraw from the ICC, describing it as “useless”.
He said the West has failed to comprehend the gravity of the Philippines’ methamphetamine problem, adding he is ready to “rot in jail” to achieve his goals.
There is nothing wrong with threatening to kill bad elements, he reiterated on Monday.
“I will never allow my country to be thrown to the dogs,” Duterte said. “I said, when I was a mayor, ‘If you destroy my city with drugs, I will kill you.'”
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