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Philippines withdrawal from ICC will not stop inquiry into killings

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the 121st founding anniversary of Philippine army at the army headquarters in Manila on March 20, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE

The withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) will not impact an inquiry by prosecutors into killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs, the court said in a statement on Tuesday.

The court said it had been notified by the United Nations that the Philippines formally initiated on March 17 the process to withdraw from the court.

It will take one year for the move to become effective.

“A withdrawal has no impact on on-going proceedings or any matter which was already under consideration by the court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective,” the court said in a statement.

Duterte said on March 12 that the Philippines would pull out of the international treaty creating the court, saying prosecutors were treating him unfairly.

There is no investigation against Duterte, though ICC prosecutors are conducting a “preliminary examination”, or review, of his government’s war on drugs, in which thousands of alleged dealers have been killed.


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