Human rights groups say Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could still be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court for drug-war killings until his withdrawal from the tribunal takes effect. His spokesman said Duterte is not trying to escape accountability but is protesting a prosecutor's decision to start examining a complaint against Duterte. Human Rights Watch says the Philippine withdrawal takes effect a year after Duterte notifies the U.N. chief.
, FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte addresses the troops during the 82nd anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. Duterte said Wednesday that his country is withdrawing its ratification of a world treaty that created the International Criminal Court, where he’s facing a possible complaint for crimes against humanity. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
15 of March 2018 06:46:14
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Human rights groups say Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials could still be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court for killings in his anti-drug war until his decision to withdraw from the tribunal takes effect after a year.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Thursday that Duterte's decision was not meant to escape from any accountability but to protest an ICC prosecutor's decision to start examining a complaint against Duterte.
Duterte announced Wednesday that he was withdrawing the Philippine ratification of the Rome Statute "effective immediately." The statute established the tribunal.
Human Rights Watch says the ICC can still prosecute heinous crimes in the Philippines until its withdrawal takes effect a year after Duterte notifies the U.N. secretary-general.