Duterte withdraws Philippines from International Criminal Court

The decision made final Sunday after a Supreme Court ruling refused an injunction on the withdrawal order

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File photo: Rodrigo Duterte

File photo: Rodrigo Duterte (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Philippines under the leadership of Rodrigo Duterte has officially withdrawn its membership and recognition of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as of Sunday, March 17.

Duterte announced his intention to leave the ICC one year ago under intense criticism for the violent drug war being waged under his leadership.

The decision was finalized over the weekend when the Supreme Court of the Philippines refused to issue an injunction proposed by human rights activists.

In the wake of the Philippines exit from the ICC, Amnesty International has called for the ICC to prosecute Duterte for alleged “crimes against humanity” and so-called attempts to “evade international justice.”

On March 18, Human Rights Watch followed suit declaring that Duterte’s ICC pullout will not “block justice” for crimes committed in the Drug War that has raged since 2016.

The Philippines follows in the step of Burundi, a former member of the ICC, who withdraw its membership and recognition of the international court in 2017 after the Hague opened an investigation into the government’s crimes against humanity, reports Time.

Recently, United States officials have also offered strong opposition to recognizing the ICC as a legitimate judicial body. On Friday, March 15, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that any ICC official investigating war crimes by U.S. forces would be denied visas and barred from entering the United States.

Human Rights Watch called the announcement by the State Department “thuggish,” reports ABS-CBN.