Philippines President Might Leave ‘Useless’ ICC after Russia Departure

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Vietnamese President Trần Đại Quang

On Monday, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (pictured left) said he might pull his country from the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of Western leaders’ criticism on how he leads a controversial crackdown on drugs in his country.

The vocal leader deemed the international court ‘useless’ and criticized the West for not understanding the killing spree that accompanies his war on drugs. State-sponsored death squads reportedly execute drug dealers and drug lords on a daily basis.

Duterte pledged not to allow Philippines to morph into a ‘narcostate’ while he is in office. On Monday, he lashed out at the U.N. for failing to prevent other types of wars worldwide.

Philippines ‘Might’ Follow in Russia’s Footsteps

On Wednesday, Russia withdrew from the ICC via an executive order signed by President Vladimir Putin. Duterte told reporters that he “might” follow suit. The West has repeatedly threatened Putin to bring him to trial over the war crimes in Syria.

“They are useless, those in the international criminal [court]. They [Russia] withdrew. I might follow,”

Duterte said.

He explained that the court will sanction just “the small ones like us.” The Filipino president made the statement hours before his trip to Lima where he plans to join an Asia-Pacific summit.

The controversial leader also plans to meet with Putin there over the weekend to discuss foreign policy. Duterte is seeking to severe the ties with his decades-old ally the United States, and forge new alliances with China and Russia.

Duterte is well-know for speaking his mind in public. He once called President Barack Obama “son of a b_ ch” and yelled at the U.S. to stop treating his country like “a dog with a leash.” He also threatened to throw U.S. military forces out of his country.

When asked what his opinion was on Russia’s departure from the ICC, he said he had no idea. But he speculated that “the incessant bombing and the killing of civilians” in Syria may have something to do with it.

Human rights advocates and Washington accuse Kremlin of performing airstrikes on civilians and civilian objectives. Russia has dismissed the allegations as untrue.

Duterte Irked by the ICC, the West

The ICC said last month that its prosecutors may have jurisdiction to bring to justice  the perpetrators of the extra-judicial executions. In response, the outspoken leader complained that no one ever listens to his reasons for the controversial war on drugs. Official estimates say over 2,400 lost their lives in the purge.

He also said that if China and Russia will consider to replace the U.N. in “creat[ing] a new order” he would be “the first to join.” He added that the killings were “endless” around the world. “That is our lesson,” the Philippines President added.

Last week, Duterte congratulated Donald J. Trump for winning the U.S. presidency. He also pledged to stop the feud with the U.S. now that Trump is in office. Duterte noted that he and the U.S. president-elect already have something in common:

“We both like to swear. One little thing, we curse right away, we’re the same.”

Image Source: Wikimedia