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'If I Go to Jail, I Go to Muntinlupa', Duterte Says on Drug War Probe

The President insists he would not be tried by the ICC.
by Erwin Colcol
Just now
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he would not let himself be tried by the International Criminal Court over his war on drugs, adding that if he had to go to jail, he would rather be imprisoned at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City.

The Hague-based court in September authorized a full investigation into the drug war, saying it resembled an illegitimate and systematic attack on civilians. Duterte, who has taken full responsibility of the bloody campaign, refuses to recognize its jurisdiction.

"I will not allow myself to be judged by white people in another place outside of my country. I will be tried by a tribunal na puro foreigners pati karamihan puti?" he said during the inauguration of a sports complex in Siargao.

"If I go to prison, I go to Muntinlupa. If I am tried, I should be tried by a Filipino judge in a Philippine tribunal. And I should be prosecuted --- like me when I was a fiscal --- I should be prosecuted by a Filipino prosecutor," he added.

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Duterte said he waged war against drug lords to protect the youth. "Hindi akin yan. Kayo lahat ang taong Pilipino ang nakinabang diyan, wala ako," he said.

"Ginawa ko lang ang trabaho ko kasi ayaw ko nga masira ang bayan ko. That is the long and short of the story about itong ICC. Kalokohan yan," he added.

At least 6,181 people have been killed in over 200,000 anti-drug operations conducted since July 2016, according to the latest official data released by the Philippines in July this year.

ICC prosecutors in court papers estimate the figure to be between 12,000 to 30,000 slain victims. --- with a report from Agence France Presse.

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