Duterte: International Criminal Court ‘cannot stop me’

Al Jazeera

Philippine president vows anti-drug war campaign will continue and will be ‘brutal’ as death toll passes 8,000 mark.

Duterte has repeatedly said that if lives of law enforcers are in danger that they should ‘shoot’ the suspects [EPA]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would not be intimidated by the prospect of the International Criminal Court (ICC) putting him on trial over his bloody war on drugs, promising that his campaign would continue and would be “brutal”.

“I will not be intimidated and I shall not be stopped just by what? International Criminal Court? Impeachment? If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go,” Duterte told reporters on Sunday, shortly before leaving for Myanmar.

“The drive against corruption, criminality and drugs will resume and it will continue and it will be brutal,” he said.

Retired officer links Duterte to almost 200 killings

“I will not be, for a moment, be out of focus on that. I rose on what I promised and I will fall on that.”

More than 8,000 people have died since Duterte took office on June 30 last year, and began his anti-drugs campaign.

A third of the fatalities were killed in raids and sting operations by police who say they acted in self-defence, while the rest were killed by unknown gunmen.

Rights groups said many of the deaths were assassinations of drugs users with police complicity, allegations that authorities have denied.

But a self-confessed assassin who testified to being in a “death squad” under Duterte, when he was mayor of Davao City, is expected to file a case at the ICC this month or in April, accusing the president of crimes against humanity, his lawyer said recently.

People hold photos of their family members, who they say were killed due to Duterte’s anti-drug war in the Philippines [Reuters File]

Criminals can ‘go first’

Duterte said he would never “condone the killing of a criminal person arrested with outstretched arms, begging for his life, or what is popularly known as extrajudicial killings.”

“Follow the law and we are alright. Drop shabu and nobody will die tomorrow,” Duterte said. Shabu is the street name for the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine that the government blames for most of the serious crimes in the Philippines.

Victims of Duterte’s war on drugs find solace in Philippines church

But Duterte warned: “If you place the guys lives in jeopardy … my order is to shoot you.”

He said he would rather see “thousands or millions of criminals go first”, than see security forces killed in the anti-narcotics war.

Two men, including the one who is expected to file the ICC case, have testified before the Philippine Senate saying they were part of an alleged “death squad” in Davao that killed at Duterte’s behest.

But Senate members found no proof of extra-judicial killings and death squads.

The “death squad” and allegations of drugs-related extrajudicial killings were also among the reasons for an impeachment complaint filed by an opposition lawmaker in Congress against Duterte on Thursday.

Duterte said he was not ruling out the possibility that “scalawags in government who are trying to silence guys dealing with them” were behind these extrajudicial executions.

Source: Reuters news agency

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This entry was posted in Extra-judicial killing - Giết người không tòa án, Human rights - Nhân quyền, ICC - International Criminal Court, Philippines and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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