Philippines moves to quit International Criminal Court

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he is withdrawing the Pacific nation from the International Criminal Court, which has begun a probe into accusations of crimes against humanity involving Duterte's deadly anti-drug crackdown.

On Wednesday he repeated that defence, citing "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on his person as well my administration".

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said Friday that Duterte needs to see a psychiatrist over his crude comments, including a threat to slap U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, and the inclusion of U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on a list of alleged communist terrorists operating in the country. The deaths occurring in the process of legitimate police operations lacked the intent to kill, ' he added.

The statement however contradicts his previous comments about the drugs war, including his willingness to "slaughter" drug addicts and dealers in order to stamp out the problem from the country.

Police say they have killed almost 4,000 drug suspects as part of the campaign, while rights groups claim the toll is around three times that number.

Lagman further pointed out that the withrawal can not derail the ongoing preliminary examination of Duterte's alleged crimes against humanity in relation to his administration's drug war.

"Given that the ICC shows a propensity for failing to give due respect to the State Parties of the Rome Statute, and that there is clear bias on the part of the United Nations against the Philippines, the Philippines may very well consider withdrawing from the Rome Statute", Duterte said in a statement, referring to the court's founding treaty.

The ICC, an intergovernmental organization that investigates cases of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression, was established by the Rome Statute, which was created in 2002.

"I therefore declare and forthwith give notice, as President of the Republic of the Philippines, that the Philippines is withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute effective immediately" he said.

Celeste Mallari, a professor at the Philippines College of Law, said the court can "investigate any acts that have been done from the time the Philippines became a member of the ICC. until one year after we gave our notice of withdrawal". However, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) estimate that up to 12,000 people could have fallen victim to the notorious campaign.

'I will invoke my power of supervision and control and will review (the) dismissal, ' Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, quoted the president as saying during a joint command conference with police and military officials on Tuesday evening.

Philippine officials had initially said in February that the country was ready to cooperate but asked for fairness.

A defiant president said said last week that "not in a million years" would the ICC have jurisdiction to look into the allegations filed at the court by lawyer Jude Sabio. They are two of Duterte's strongest critics.