Duterte wants other countries to withdraw from ICC

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Baguio City (CNN Philippines, March 18) — President Rodrigo Duterte has urged other countries to get out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) days after the Philippines withdrew from the tribunal.

Speaking to graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alab Tala Class of 2018 in Baguio City Sunday, Duterte said the Rome Statute which created the ICC was a document sponsored by the European Union (EU).

He described the Rome Statute as "all bull****," and that the EU allegedly created it so the organization could atone for the sins it committed against other countries.

Duterte insisted the ICC has no jurisdiction over him because the Rome Statute was not published in the Official Gazette, as laws should be.

The Philippines ratified the treaty in 2011, becoming its 117th State Party. The ICC has 123 members.

Immediate withdrawal

On March 14, Duterte said the Philippines would withdraw from the ICC "effective immediately."

In an unsigned statement, the President said attacks against him and his administration which were "engineered by the officials of the United Nations," as well as the attempt by the ICC special prosecutor to put him under jurisdiction, prompted him to pull the country out from the international tribunal.

READ: Duterte: PH to withdraw from ICC 'effective immediately'

The President slammed efforts to use the ICC "as a political tool against the Philippines."

The ICC is looking into the drug war after Jude Sabio filed a communication in April 2017. Sabio is the lawyer of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who said he killed people in Davao City upon the orders of then-Mayor Duterte.

Sabio said the move to pull out from the international tribunal just speeds up the case.

He said Duterte's "open hostility" toward the United Nations (UN) and the ICC means the principle of complementarity will work on the case.

The ICC is an intergovernmental organization that investigates cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression.

It was meant to be a court of last resort when local courts of its state parties are incapable or unwilling to act on such matters.

The ICC earlier announced it would begin preliminary examination on the administration's controversial war on drugs. It will then decide if it needs to proceed with an investigation.

On Saturday, the ICC in a statement to CNN Philippines said its examination will proceed despite the withdrawal.

READ: ICC review to proceed despite PH withdrawal

CNN Philippines digital producer Ver Marcelo contributed to this report.