Won’t face int’l court over drug war: Duterte - GulfToday

Won’t face int’l court over drug war: Duterte


Veiled protesters display placards during a protest calling for greater scrutiny of so-called war on drugs in Quezon on Wednesday. Associated Press

Manolo B. Jara

President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte on Wednesday said he would not face an international tribunal to be presided over by a foreigner, particularly a Caucasian, in connection  the the alleged alarming rise in killings from the his brutal and violent war on illegal drugs.

Duterte also  emphasised that despite criticisms and denunciations, he was determined to pursue the campaign  he launched when he took over as  president three years ago in 2016 to rid the country  of illegal drugs, stressing that nobody would do it.

Duterte was reacting to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to approve a resolution, introduced by Finland, calling for an investigation on the country’s drug war killings in an  TV interview with pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a religious leader based in the president’s hometown of Davao City in Mindanao.

“Look, at I told you before...I will only face, be tried or face trial in a Philippine court presided by a Filipino judge. Prosecuted by a Filipino. And maybe they can impose death penalty and die in Filipino land,” Duterte said. 

He also pointed out: “I will not allow a Caucasian asking question while there. You must be stupid. Who are you? I am a Filipino. We have our own courts here. You have to bring me somewhere else? I would not like that. I have my country. I know it is working. Justice is working here.”

A lawyer by profession, Duterte argued that foreign entities could only intervene if there is a fatal breakdown of justice in a country where nobody is willing to prosecute.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier reported that more than 6,600 suspects were killed since the campaign started when Duterte took his oath as the country’s first president from Mindanao in July 2016 until June this year.

However, human rights advocates and critics claimed the death toll could be higher reaching at least 20,000 due to extra-judicial killings blamed on “vigilante” groups allegedly with close links to the police.

Aside from the UNHCR, the UN International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, Netherlands, earlier reported that it was looking into the cases of alleged crimes against humanity filed against Duterte in connection with the war on drugs.

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