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Duterte Says Philippines May Follow Russia & Pull Out Of ICC

Philippines may follow Russia's ICC withdrawal

Duterte Says Philippines May Pull Out Of ICC

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says that his country may decide to follow in Russia’s footsteps and withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Russia announced on Wednesday that it was formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the international criminal court, a day after the court published a report classifying the Russian annexation of Crimea as an occupation.

The Filipino leader, slammed the ICC as “useless,” and said that Manila would be happy to join a system of world governance established by Russia and China.

Press TV reports:

Ahead of his departure for Peru to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit on Thursday, Duterte called the international tribunal “useless” and only capable of enforcing decisions against small countries like the Philippines.

“They are useless, those in the International Criminal (Court). They (the Russians) withdrew. I might follow. Why? Only the small ones like us are battered,” Duterte said.

On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moscow was pulling out of the ICC following a decree by President Vladimir Putin.

Two days earlier, the tribunal, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, had angered Kremlin by referring to Russia’s “annexation” of Crimea as an armed conflict. In March 2014, the then-Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum.

The ICC, which was founded in 1998, had also said that it was examining accusations of “war crimes” allegedly committed by Russian forces during a brief war with Georgia in 2008. In the Wednesday Russian Foreign Ministry statement, Moscow reminded the international tribunal that it had ignored Georgia’s aggression against pro-Russia civilians in the region of South Ossetia.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Duterte denounced the United Nations (UN) for its inability to prevent violence across the globe and its failure in safeguarding human rights, referring to a “series of wars” in the past and present, including the Vietnam War, and the war in Afghanistan, both waged by the US, which led to “endless” killings.

“The amount is splattering. That is our lesson. Just because it is America, it does not mean that it is good,” Duterte said.

The Philippine leader also said that Manila would happily join a system of world governance established by Russia and China.

“You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join,” he said.

Russia has not been the first country to recently decide to pull out of the ICC. At least three African countries, namely South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia, have already decided to withdraw from the tribunal.