President Duterte has welcomed the prospect of the International Criminal Court (ICC) trying him for crimes related to his war on drugs, saying his campaign would continue and be “brutal.”
Self-confessed assassin Edgar Matobato, who claims he was a foot soldier in the former mayor’s Davao Death Squad is set to file a case at the ICC, accusing the president of crimes against humanity.
But Duterte insists he is on the “right track” regarding human rights, and has never instructed the police to kill suspects who were not resisting arrest.
More than 7,000 people have been gunned down since he became president on an anti-drug ticket, a third of which are recorded as official police operations where the suspects fought back. The others are “under investigation”.
“I will not be intimidated and I shall not be stopped just by what? International Criminal Court? Impeachment? If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go,” Duterte told reporters shortly before leaving for Myanmar today.
“The drive against corruption, criminality and drugs will resume and it will continue and it will be brutal.
“Follow the law and we are alright. Drop shabu and nobody will die tomorrow. If you place the guys’ lives in jeopardy… my order is to shoot you.”
He added that he would rather see “thousands or millions of criminals go first”, than see security forces killed in the anti-narcotics war.
Matobato, as well as Arthur Lascañas, have testified in the Senate that they were part of the Davao Death Squad that murdered hundreds of people at Duterte’s command.
However, senators said there was no concrete evidence and the majority voted to close down the hearings prematurely.
Matobato’s lawyer has since announced that his client is ready to take his evidence to the ICC.
The president has also been criticised by the European Union. In typically colourful language he replied: “Why are you trying to impose on us? Why don’t you mind your own business? Why do you have to f**k with us?”