PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he would go berserk at the International Criminal Court if he is “dragged” before the Hague tribunal to face charges of crimes against humanity.
“Do not drag me in ICC, you idiots. Who is the prosecutor there? Who appointed her? Even the chairman of the ICC, ‘yung fiscal nila, let me ask you, what are you doing there? Are [you] elected there democratically? Pagdating ko diyan ay sampalin ko kayong mga judges at magwala ako doon,” Duterte said during his speech at the Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila on Thursday.
Duterte is under preliminary investigation at the ICC after lawyer Jude Sabio filed a complaint in May 2017 charging him with crimes against humanity for the thousands of deaths in his anti-drugs campaign.
Sabio is counsel of self-confessed hit man and former Davao Death Squad member Edgar Matobato, who testified in a Senate probe that he had killed people on Duterte’s orders when the latter was mayor of Davao City.
The President, a lawyer, maintained that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over him and stressed that he is entitled to due process.
“What the hell are you trying to… you cannot acquire a jurisdiction, our law requires that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws,” Duterte said.
The Palace decided to unilaterally pull out of the Rome Statute—the document that created the ICC—in March 2018.
The legality of such a move, however, has since been questioned by the President’s critics and opposition lawmakers. The Supreme Court has yet to decide on the withdrawal.
In August this year, a fresh complaint against Duterte was filed at the international tribunal, this time by the families of those killed in his drug war.