According to Reuters, President Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines told the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate him for crimes against humanity but would prefer to face a firing squad than be jailed. Although Duterte says this, he has been notorious for defying international law. He has questioned the ICC’s jurisdiction to indict him over deaths of thousands of Filipinos on his campaign against drugs. Duterte has denied giving orders to police to kill drug suspects.
Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor said on Thursday that preliminary examinations into Duterte’s campaign fought to find whether or not it had the jurisdiction and whether or not crimes against humanity had been committed. “I would ask for the rare privilege of talking to you. Just the two of us in the room,” Duterte said during a news conference, referring to Bensouda. “I welcome you. If you want to find me guilty, go ahead. So be it. Find a country where they kill people with a firing squad and I’m ready.” “If you haul me into a rigmarole of trial and trial, no need. Go ahead and proceed in your investigation. Find me guilty, of course. You can do that.”
Around 4,000 Filipinos have been killed by Duterte’s law enforcement that has a strict campaign on drugs in the Philippines. Although activists believe the number of deaths is much higher than 4,000, the government and police have dismissed that accusation.
The legal process in prosecuting Duterte may take years. Duterte’s legal counsel, including his attorney general on Friday have claimed that there are several related cases to the anti-drugs crackdown are still pending in courts as well as a Senate investigation that had no evidence of breaches of law. Two hit men have confessed in killing for Duterte when he was a city mayor. They also claimed that public statements made by Duterte as president advocated ‘shoot-to-kill’ orders.
Duterte expressed frustration when speaking on extrajudicial killings during his campaign, claiming that the term could not be defined. “What is extrajudicial killing?” he said. “There is no provision for extrajudicial killing, it is not defined anywhere.”