Duterte floats possible TRO vs arrest should ICC probe push through
MANILA, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte has brought up the possibility of seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing his arrest should the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) continue, his former spokesperson Harry Roque disclosed Tuesday.
Roque said this after Duterte met with some of his former Cabinet members on Monday night specifically to discuss the ICC, which is investigating the alleged crimes against humanity committed by the former president in relation to his campaign against illegal drugs.
“He also said, and actually this idea came from him… that if, for any reason, the ICC will continue to exercise its jurisdiction, he will go before Philippine courts for a restraining order to restrain the Philippine police from serving the warrant of arrest against him,” Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
“He will argue that the Philippine courts are able and willing to prosecute these cases and therefore, there is no basis for foreign institutions to interfere and this is a consequence of being a sovereign country,” the former spokesperson added.
In the same interview, Roque said Duterte is willing to face charges against him—but only in local courts and not foreign courts such as the ICC.
“Under no circumstance will he allow any foreign prosecutor and foreign judge and foreign court to exercise jurisdiction over him and this is consistent with the principle of complementarity,” Roque said.
Duterte ordered the country’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute in March 2018, a month after ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that a preliminary examination was underway into the thousands of deaths in the Philippine government’s war-on-drugs campaign.
The withdrawal took effect a year later.
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