MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte said he is willing to go to jail should a Philippine court decides to punish him, but added that he will bring with him his critics.
Duterte, in a recorded public address aired late Wednesday, reiterated he will not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over him because he did not even have a copy of the Rome Statute.
"Hindi ko nabasa 'yan. I've never read that document, and so wala talaga akong alam kung ano 'yang demonyo na 'yan. Wala akong notice. Wala lahat. Now you want me prosecuted," he said.
(I did not read it. I've never read that document, so I don't even know what that devil is. I didn't receive any notice. Nothing. Now you want me prosecuted.)
"Ang winithdraw ko was nothing, really. It was an empty gesture of me. Wala kasi. There was nothing to withdraw in the first place. Ginawa ko lang 'yung just to impress upon everybody na wala talagang batas, eh 'di winithdraw ko. I was really withdrawing nothing, because until it was established that there was publication, then it becomes a law."
(I was really not withdrawing anything. It was an empty gesture of me. There was really nothing to withdraw in the first place. I did that just to impress upon everybody that there was no law, so i will withdraw. I was really withdrawing nothing, because until it was established that there was publication, then it becomes a law.)
The Supreme Court last week said Duterte has no “unbridled authority” to withdraw from treaties and any arbitrary withdrawal may be corrected by the courts, but proceeded to junk the petitions questioning it on procedural grounds.
Duterte also reiterated that he will not allow himself to be prosecuted by the "white judges" of ICC.
"Bakit ako haharap sa husgado na puro puti, p*t*ng*n* niya. Kung ako ay magpalitis, anong kasalanan ko, it will be before a Philippine court and before a Filipino judge," he said.
(Why should I face a court filled with white people. Son of a b*tch. If I'll be prosecuted, whatever my sin is, it will be before a Philippine court and before a Filipino judge.)
"And kung sabihan niya ako na death penalty, so be it, pero 'wag niya akong bigyan ng mga puti na 'yan. It's just atonement for their sins nila 'yan eh. Sila 'yan, sa colonial days, ilan ang pinatay nila, kinalimutan ng mga p*t*ng*n*," Duterte added.
(And if they tell me that I'll get the death penalty, so be it, but it will not be from those white people. It's just atonement for their sins. It's them, during the colonial days, how many did they kill, they just forgot about it these sons of b*tches.)
Duterte said he is willing to be sent to jail but he will make sure to bring the opposition, or "dilawans", with him.
"Kung ako makulong, magdala ako ng mga 5 dilawan, sabihin ko sa'yo. Magpakulong ako, magdala ako ng dalawang dilawan, mamili ako sa kanila. Paano ko kayo dalhin, 'yan ang problema ninyo," Duterte said.
(If I'll go to jail, I'll bring five yellows with me, I'm telling you. I will go to jail but I'll bring two yellows, I will choose from them. How I'll bring them with me, that's your problem.)
Duterte earlier lashed out against the ICC as he reiterated that he will never cooperate in its pending investigation into his administration's bloody war on drugs.
His comments came out after then ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court to authorize opening a full investigation into drug war killings in the Philippines, saying crimes against humanity could have been committed.
The ICC, which has jurisdiction over 124 of its members, including the Philippines, was created through the 1988 UN statute.
The Philippines signed the Rome Statute on December 28, 2000, and ratified and endorsed it in August 2011, during the time of Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
The Philippines officially withdrew from the ICC on March 17, 2019, exactly a year after the United Nations Secretary General received notification.
Duterte announced in March 2018 that the Philippines was withdrawing from the court, a month after Bensouda said the ICC was opening a preliminary examination into the drug war in the Philippines, following receipt of reports of alleged extrajudicial killings during police anti-drug operations.
Citing alleged bias of UN officials, Duterte said the ICC was being used as a political tool against him.
Malacañang maintained the treaty did not take effect in the country because it was not published in a newspaper of general circulation.
The Palace has also said Duterte will never cooperate with any possible ICC probe into killings under his anti-narcotics drive, adding that it "is legally erroneous, politically motivated".