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Philippines' Duterte slams ICC, defends ‘brutal' war on drugs

REUTERS
MANILA
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday welcomed the prospect of the International Criminal Court (ICC) putting him on trial over his bloody war on drugs, saying he would not be intimidated and his campaign would be unrelenting and "brutal".

A self-confessed assassin who testified to being in a "death squad" under Duterte is expected to file a case at the ICC this month or in April, accusing the president of crimes against humanity, his lawyer said recently.

More than 8,000 people have died since he took office last year and began his anti-drugs campaign, a third in raids and sting operations by police.

"I will not be intimidated and I shall not be stopped just by, what? The ICC? Impeachment? If that is part of my destiny, it is my destiny to go," Duterte told reporters. "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" Duterte said. Shabu is slang for the highly addictive crystal methamphetamine.

He said he would rather see "thousands or millions of criminals go first", than see security forces killed in the anti-narcotics war.

Legislators found no proof of extra-judicial killings and so-called "death squads". Such and other allegations of extrajudicial killings were among the reasons for an impeachment complaint filed by an opposition lawmaker in Congress against Duterte on Thursday.

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