Duterte ignores threat of suit in international court
DAVAO CITY—“They can do their worst.”
That’s how President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday shrugged off threats of being sued before the International Criminal Court (ICC), or impeached as a result of his bloody war against drugs.
“I will not be intimidated by the ICC (and) impeachment,” he told reporters before flying for a three-day visit to Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand.
He said he “welcomed both developments.”
“I can do better in my performance as a worker in government, period. This is a democracy,” he said.
Mr. Duterte said if it was his time to go, nobody could prevent it. “If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go.”
In the meantime, he said he was focused on fulfilling his campaign promise to eliminate corruption, drugs and criminality.
“Even if it would cost me my life, my honor and the presidency. I can lose them all but I will comply with my promise,” he said.
In response to criticisms against his war on drugs, Mr. Duterte said: “Suppression includes all. Drop the ‘shabu’ if you want to be alive. If you do not want trouble with government, stop trafficking. It’s as simple as that. I will not be for a moment be out of focus on that.”
Referring to the impeachment complaint filed against him last week by Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, the President said: “I will rise on what I promised, I will fall on it.”
To prevent more deaths, he said noncommission of crime and the observance of the law would suffice.
“Of course we just follow the rules provided for by law and it is found in the Revised Penal Code,” he said. “Follow the law and we will be all right … drop the ‘shabu’ (crystal meth) and nobody will die tomorrow.” Mr. Duterte added.
“If you are a criminal and you are caught in the act, do not fight because if you place the guy’s (law enforcer’s) life in jeopardy, my order is to shoot you,” he said.
“I do not want to see military men and dead men on my side, killed. I’d rather that the criminals, however thousands or millions they are, should be the first to go,” he added.
Mr. Duterte denied he had a hand in the planned filing of an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo.
He said he would not speculate on Robredo’s involvement on moves to unseat him.
“I will not be surprised if she is there. I will not speculate that she’s not there (either). I am not interferring in her life. I hope she would not meddle in mine,” he said.
“I never lifted a finger against anybody. I’m beyond politics. I do not want to tinker with it,” he said.
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