Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte [BBC profile] said Thursday that he would consider following Russia’s example and leaving the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The threatened withdrawal may be connected to the concern issued by the Hauge-based court [official statement] about the country and Dutarte’s handling of the drug-related violence over the past summer in which it is estimated more than 3,000 people have died [AP report]. Duterte also indicated that he would consider leaving the UN if Russia and China were to do so.
Duterte took the presidential office in May after promising [WSJ report] the Filipino population that he would aggressively crackdown on corruption and crime. During his campaign, Duterte declared [Guardian report] that 100,000 people would die in his crackdown on crime. Since Duterte has taken office, over 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed and 600,000 have surrendered to the police. Last month, the ICC expressed concern over the rising occurrence of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines in connection with the ongoing war on drugs [JURIST report]. In September Duterte declared [JURIST report] a “state of lawlessness” in the Philippines, which would allow police and military personnel to frisk individuals and search cars. In August Duterte named [JURIST report] 150 serving and former state officials connected to the nation’s illegal drug trade and ordered them to either surrender to the authorities or risk being hunted down. Duterte has stated that he disregards criticisms from the UN and human rights groups. Also in August, Duterte threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] the country from the UN following criticisms against his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs.