President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he was willing to go to jail if needed, but will never recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“Look, I am admitting. For those encounters by the police, 4,000 plus, I assume full responsibility and I will answer for it and if I have to go to jail, I will go to jail. So be it,” Duterte said in front of the presidential awardees in Malacañang.
“But do not f*ck me with the deaths of everybody there and keep on harping on that international court of justice,” he added.
Duterte said he does not recognize the ICC because it was created by the European Union and the Philippines did not take any part in establishing it.
The President said he will only be under the power of Philippine justice system.
“I have my country. Estrada went to jail. They say it’s not working? Oh, shut up. Arroyo went to jail, Aquino skipped jail. Me? So be it,” he said.
“The presidency is a gift from God. It is my gift to you, I will go to jail for the Philippines,” he added.
In October, Duterte said he will go wild if he is “dragged” to the ICC to face charges filed against him.
Duterte is under preliminary examination 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.
Duterte had repeatedly said that the ICC had no jurisdiction over him, arguing that the Rome Statute -- the treaty that established the court -- is not enforceable in the Philippines because it was not published in a government publication or any commercial newspaper.
Malacañang, meanwhile, cited the principle of complementarity in which the ICC can only investigate allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes if the domestic courts are unable or unwilling to do so.