Duterte wants to be in International Criminal Court – Roque

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President Rodrigo Duterte wants to appear at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said after announcing the start of preliminary examination regarding the crimes against humanity the President allegedly commited in line with the nationwide campaign against illegal drugs.

“He said he wants to be in Court and put the prosecutor on the stand. To ask who prodded you to proceed to preliminary examination, because it is the suspicion of the President that it is of course the domestic enemies of the state behind this,” Roque said.

Roque also said that this is an opportunity for President Duterte to probe that this is not subject to the court’s jurisdiction because of both complementarity that domestic courts and the fact that we have a domestic international humanitarian law statute in our jurisdiction, are reasons enough for the Court not to exercise jurisdiction.

“We view of course this decision of the prosecutor as a waste of the Court’s time and resources. Again as a matter of sovereign consent, we gave our consent to be a member of the ICC subject to, number one: The court being a court of last resort; and that secondly, subject to the principle of complementarity; and number three that not all crimes can be cognizable by the court because only crimes which are of the gravest nature, greatest affront against the international community should be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court,” he said.

Roque explained that in this stage no one from the Philippine government is needed to appear before the ICC.

“There will be no formal investigation to be conducted in the country because at the level of the preliminary examination, where the Court does not include the budget for the prosecutor to come to the Philippines, because it is not yet a preliminary investigation. Now the objective is to determine if there is reasonable basis to proceed with the formal investigation,” he said.