President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his desire that he might follow Russia’s lead to also withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a pre-departure briefing in Davao City before heading to the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru. President Duterte said, “Mind you, sabi ng Russia, ‘We will protect you.”

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

“Ang problema, ang Russia withdrew from the International Court. What could be the reason? I really do not know. Maybe to protect what they are doing in Syria now, the incessant bombings and the killing of civilians… I might follow [Russia]. Why? Tayo lang maliliit ang binubugbog ng mga walanghiya,” he said.

Just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a directive notifying U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that Russia will withdraw its membership from the court.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda – Daily Nation

Meanwhile, Fatou Bensouda an ICC prosecutor has expressed deep concern in the Duterte’s administration over the drug-related killings.

Bensouda said “let me be clear: Any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing… to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable for prosecution before the Court,”

The Philippines has been an ICC member state since November 2011 “and as such, the Court has jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory or by nationals of the Philippines.” -JCE.