Duterte to ICC prosecutor: Stay out or face arrest

INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will be arrested if she comes to the Philippines and proceeds with the preliminary investigation into the anti-narcotics war, President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Friday, April 13.

President Rodrigo Duterte said in a press conference upon his arrival from Hong Kong shortly after midnight that Bensouda should not bother trying to enter Philippine territory, as she would not succeed.

He said he would not hesitate to order Bensouda's arrest upon her arrival. He reiterated that the ICC no longer has jurisdiction over him since the Philippine government had pulled out its membership from the treaty that created the court.

"Ms. Fatou, do not go here because I will bar you, not because I am afraid of you (but) because you will never have jurisdiction over my person, not in a million years," the President said in Davao City.

"What is your authority now? If we are not members of the treaty, why are you f****** in this country? You cannot exercise any proceedings here without basis. That is illegal and I will arrest you," he added.

On March 14, MalacaƱang released Duterte's statement about the Philippines's "immediate" termination of its membership as a state party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

Duterte decided to repeal the Philippines' ratification of the treaty because of the ICC's purported "brazen display of ignorance of the law" for claiming jurisdiction over his person.

Despite the Philippines' withdrawal from the ICC, the international court has continued with its preliminary examination of the supposed human right violations associated with Duterte's brutal crackdown on illrgal drugs.

The initial review that began last February stemmed from the 77-page communication lodged by legal counsel Jude Sabio, accusing Duterte of committing crimes against humanity for allegedly inciting the killings of drug personalities in the Philippines.

Duterte maintained that he would not be unfazed by the "nonsense" examination of the ICC in the war he waged against rampant narcotics sale.

"I will not be afraid. You can never call me to the International Criminal Court simply because your position is flawed," he said.

"It cannot be corrected anymore so stop your nonsense," the President added. (SunStar Philippines)
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