Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte rounds on International Criminal Court

  • 18/11/2016
The International Criminal Court has criticised Rodrigo Duterte's violent war on drugs in the Philippines (Reuters)
The International Criminal Court has criticised Rodrigo Duterte's violent war on drugs in the Philippines (Reuters)

He had vowed "bloody carnage" in his war on drugs, and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has steadfastly delivered on his promises, unleashing death squads in a dirty war which has left 4000 dead since July.

His response to critics: brash and bellicose. He branded Barack Obama as a "son of a whore" and told him to "go to hell."

The UN was told to "f*** off and shut up."

Today the Executioner-President rounded on the International Criminal Court. Its Chief Prosecutor last month expressed 'deep concern' over the extrajudicial killings which, it said, could fall under its jurisdiction.

"They're useless, the International Criminal Court," he said in a mix of Tagalog and English. "The Russians withdrew ... I might follow."

If China and Russia moved to create a new world order, he said he'd be the first to quit the UN and sign up. The United Nations had failed to stop wars, he said.

"The killing is endless. The amount is splattering," he said.

Yesterday, in a decree signed by Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin withdrew its support for the Hague-based global court after the ICC criticised its annexation of Crimea.

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the court was closely monitoring instances of incitement and violence in the Philippines, so Mr Duterte, who doesn't like being threatened, has now followed suit.

The gun-slinging maverick 71-year-old Mr Duterte, with his notorious hair-trigger temper, projects himself as a no-nonsense tough guy. He says his hero is Putin and that he now wants to buy guns from him, not America.

But is all this bombast for real -- or just rhetoric? For decades the Philippines has had a defence pact with the United States; the two stage annual war games.

But on his first foreign foray to China, Mr Duterte announced separation from the US. He was sick of being America's doormat, he said. The next day he reneged. "I hadn't really meant that," he said.

It was in a profanity-laced rant, in August, that he first mooted leaving the United Nations. The next day he said he'd been joking.

Philippine jails are jam-packed with addicts who've turned themselves in fearing they'll be next on the kill-list.

The ICC now has Rodrigo Duterte in its sights. He may not like that, but pulling out now would not get him off the hook if it does go after him for having incited mass-murder.

Channel 4