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Philippines Tells UN it Will Quit ICC

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The Philippines announced on Friday it had given official notice to exit the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which is examining President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drug war.

Rodrigo Duterte

The move comes days after Duterte announced his nation would quit the court over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his crackdown on narcotics amounts to crimes against humanity.

In this regard, Philippine police say they have killed roughly 4,000 suspects who fought back during arrest, but rights groups say the actual number is three times higher and accuse the authorities of murder.

On Thursday the Philippines said in a letter to the United Nations, which oversaw negotiations to found the court that it was pulling out of the Rome Statute.

"The decision to withdraw is the Philippines' principled stand against those who would politicize and weaponize human rights," the letter said.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, speaking from Manila, said the Philippines was quitting due to "the well-orchestrated campaign to mislead the international community, to crucify President Duterte... by distorting the human rights situation in the country".

Officially quitting the court requires a year's notice and experts say pulling out does not preclude an investigation of the killings, which have drawn international concern.

The Philippines said in its letter that it "affirms its commitment to fight against impunity for atrocity crimes," despite its withdrawal.

Duterte has frequently urged authorities to kill drug suspects while promising to protect police from legal sanction.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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