PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte praised the United States to high heavens after Washington’s National Security Adviser John Bolton accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) of being “ineffective, unaccountable and indeed outright dangerous.”
Duterte, in a speech before military troops at the Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac, said the “timely word of Bolton” was “quite refreshing.”
“That’s why it is good that there is international pressure against ICC because Bolton cursed them,” the President said.
“The timely word of Bolton now is quite refreshing to us lalo na ako ‘yung pinakamaingay. Binastos ko sila. Binastos ko sila. Binabastos nila tayo eh. I only bow to the Filipino people. I will not bow to anybody,” he added.
The United States earlier threatened to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the ICC if it prosecutes any American who served in Afghanistan on the basis of war crimes.
The US has not ratified the Rome Statute which created the ICC.
“If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said.
“It’s good that there is an international pressure sa ICC kasi binul-shit sila ni Bolton. He’s really a very far-right dyan sa America. Baya ni (US President Donald) Trump,” he said.
Bolton said the US was prepared to slap financial sanctions and criminal charges on officials of the court if they proceed against any Americans.
“We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the US financial system, and we will prosecute them in the US criminal system,” Bolton said.
“We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.”
Duterte himself is facing complaints before the ICC over his war on drugs and his supposed role in the alleged death squad killings in Davao City, where he ruled as mayor for over two decades.
Duterte has withdrawn the Philippines’ ratification of the United Nations treaty that created the ICC.
Opposition senators and other petitioners have asked the Supreme Court to declare the withdrawal invalid since the Senate, which ratified the Rome Statute, has not concurred in Duterte’s decision.
Critics and legal experts, however, said the government’s withdrawal from the international court does not terminate the ICC’s ongoing preliminary examination into the complaint against the chief executive.