STILL unfazed by criticisms hurled against his war on illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, March 7, told International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard not to mess with him.
In a speech delivered in Clark, Pampanga a day before the world celebrates International Women's Day, Duterte ridiculed Bensouda and Callamard, describing them as "black" and "undernourished," respectively.
"Go ahead, you investigate me. But I assure you -- I tell them -- you will never have jurisdiction over my person," the President said before the local chief executives of Luzon.
"But if I meet them, especially the black lawyer, (Bensouda) and the slim one, Callamard, who is undernourished and not eating, don't f*** with me, girls," he added.
Duterte's strongly-worded remarks were issued several hours before UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he deplored Duterte's separate orders to the police not to cooperate with any investigation into the drug war and to the military to shoot female rebels in their genitals.
Zeid had also criticized Duterte for the alleged "vilification" of Callamard, who has been prohibited from visiting the country and conducting an investigation into Duterte's war on drugs.
The ICC began its preliminary examination of the communication filed about Duterte's alleged crimes against humanity as a result of his anti-illegal drugs war.
The President was confident that the ICC would never acquire jurisdiction over him.
He reiterated that he would continue to step up the government's anti-drug campaign.
"In the matter of drugs, it (anti-narcotics drive) will not stop, despite or in spite of the threats of ICC and everything. I don't care about them," he said.
The President also maintained that he is willing to take "full and legal" responsibility for possible criminal liability that might arise in his drive against narcotics.
"To the army and police, do not be afraid (of) fulfilling your mandate. Do not mind (criticisms) since human rights and ICC are blaming me. Let them be. I take full and legal responsibility for things that are happening, intended or not intended. That's mine," he said during the 145th founding anniversary of Tarlac on Wednesday.
"Just do your job. Don't be afraid. I'm willing to be jailed for that, just to be clear. I'm here to protect my country. I believe that if I stop this crusade [against illegal drugs], it would have compromise the country and the next generation. Then, it would have been my failure in my time because I did not do anything," Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)