Philippines' withdrawal won't impact inquiry into Duterte's war on drugs: International Criminal Court

President Rodrigo Duterte had announced that the Philippines would pull out of the international treaty creating the court.
President Rodrigo Duterte had announced that the Philippines would pull out of the international treaty creating the court.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - The withdrawal of the Philippines from the International Criminal Court will not impact an inquiry by prosecutors into killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs, the court said in a statement on Tuesday (March 20).

The court said it had been notified by the United Nations that the Philippines formally initiated on March 17 the process to withdraw from the court. It will take one year for the move to become effective.

"A withdrawal has no impact on ongoing proceedings or any matter which was already under consideration by the court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective," the court said in a statement.

Mr Duterte said last week that the Philippines would pull out of the international treaty creating the court, saying prosecutors were treating him unfairly.

There is no investigation against Mr Duterte, though ICC prosecutors are conducting a "preliminary examination", or review, of his government's war on drugs, in which thousands of alleged dealers have been killed.