Still recovering from the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to conduct preliminary examinations into his extra judicial killings (EJKs), President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to have ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda arrested if she sets foot in the country to proceed with her probe.
Duterte threatened to have any and all prosecutors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrested if they would come to the Philippines and continue with their investigation on his war on drugs.
“You cannot exercise any proceedings here without basis. That is illegal and I will arrest you,” the President said in a press conference at the Davao International Airport upon his arrival from Hong Kong last month.
Duterte made the statement as part of his lengthy response to a question on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s pronouncement that the Duterte administration was devoting its resources to oust her. He began his response by hitting Sereno’s position early in his administration that people should not allow their warrantless arrest.
President Duterte particularly warned ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that she would be barred from entering the Philippines.
Bensouda is the prosecutor conducting a preliminary examination on the alleged human rights abuses under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“Kaya ikaw Ms. Fatou, ‘wag kang pumunta dito (That is why you, do not come here) because I will bar you. Not because I am afraid of you, I said, because you will never have jurisdiction over my person, not in a million years,” President Duterte said.
The Chief Executive reiterated that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines because the country was never a member of the criminal court.
“There is no basis at all because we were never — the Philippines was not ever, ever a member of that ICC for the reason that there was no publication,” he said.
Philippine Senator was a judge of ICC
Duterte has obviously forgotten that the late Senator Miriam Santiago was a former judge of the International Criminal Court. She was the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to sit in the tribunal that tries cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) itself announced on December 14, 2011.
The President had earlier challenged the validity of the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the ICC because it was never published in the Official Gazette.
On March 14 this year, the President announced the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC, citing “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” by U.N. officials. Ω (SOURCE: Rappler)