Asia & Australia

November 18, 2016

Philippines May Leave ICC: President Rodrigo Duterte


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would consider following Russia's example and leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC). The threatened withdrawal may be connected to the concern issued by the Hague-based court about the country and Duterte's handling of the drug-related violence over the past summer, in which it is estimated that more than 3,000 people have died. Duterte also indicated that he would consider leaving the UN if Russia and China were to do so.

Duterte took the presidential office in May after promising the Filipino population that he would aggressively crackdown on corruption and crime. During his campaign, Duterte declared that 100,000 people would die in his crackdown on crime. Since Duterte has taken the office, over 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed and 600,000 have surrendered to the police. Last month, the ICC expressed concern over the rising occurrence of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines in connection with the ongoing war on drugs. In September, Duterte declared a "state of lawlessness" in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars. In August, Duterte named 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation's illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte has stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Also, in August, Duterte threatened to withdraw the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs.

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