Philippines announces withdrawal from International Criminal Court

The Philippines has given official notification to the United Nations of its intention to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

It comes a month after the ICC announced it was opening a preliminary examination into allegations that thousands of extra-judicial killings have taken place as a result of the “war on drugs” launched by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, the ICC said it “regrets this development and encourages the Philippines to remain part of the ICC family”.

The ICC statement added that the country’s withdrawal, which will become effective in one year, would have “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”.

However, lawyer and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has said: “If they want to continue, I think it would be foolhardy for the court to expect cooperation from us and, of course, even the matter of acquiring jurisdiction over the person will depend on cooperation.”