MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday continued with his tirade against the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying his controversial war on drugs will continue despite the communication filed against him at the international tribunal.
“The war on drugs will not stop and will last until the day I step down. If I go to prison, I will go to prison. If you want to execute me, look for a country that allows the execution of prisoner by firing squad,” Duterte said in a speech in Cebu City.
Duterte has previously said he is unfazed by the move of the ICC to launch a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed under his administration’s war on drugs.
The ICC's move stems from the communication filed by Filipino lawyer Jude Sabio in April last year accusing Duterte and other government senior officials of committing crimes against humanity in the government’s war on drugs.
Duterte’s aides have downplayed the ICC’s preliminary examination, saying the tribunal will ultimately decide it has no jurisdiction over the charges.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration is confident that the proceedings against Duterte and other officials will not prosper beyond the preliminary examination, noting how long it takes time for information against several accused to progress in the ICC.
“Good luck! Colombia has been under preliminary examination for 13 years, 13 years,” he said.
The government has repeatedly denied involvement in summary killings, saying the 4,000 drug suspects killed in police operations had put up violent resistance, prompting officers to defend themselves.
Human rights groups, however, say the police figures are understated and does not include killings by alleged state-sponsored “vigilantes.”