21 January 2019
Philippines might quit the "useless" International Criminal Court, says Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Reuters
Philippines might quit the "useless" International Criminal Court, says Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Reuters

Duterte threatens to quit International Criminal Court

Manila might follow the example of Moscow and withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.

Dubbing the ICC as “useless”, Duterte accused the international court of picking on small countries while ignoring the really important work. 

“We the small ones are the only ones being beaten up”, while “nothing has been done for the thousands of children and women dying in bombings in Syria and Iraq,” the Philippines leader said.

The comments came against the backdrop of a flurry of criticism in the West against Duterte for human rights violations amid a war on drugs.

Critics say the Philippines president could be charged over hundreds of cases of extrajudicial killings in his country since he took office and unleashed a violent crackdown on drug dealers.

In a statement before flying to Peru to attend an annual summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, Duterte expressed frustration about the West’s allegations of extrajudicial killings and failure to understand the reasons for his crackdown, Reuters reports.

Duterte is seeking a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Lima this weekend.

On Wednesday, Putin removed Russia’s signature from the founding treaty of the ICC. 

Duterte said he might consider the more drastic step of quitting the court which Philippines joined in 2011. 

On other comments, he called for new global leadership that would reduce the domination of the United States.

“You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join,” he said.

Duterte is pursuing an independent foreign policy aimed at weaning the Philippines off dependence on longtime ally the United States.

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