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Philippines sends official letter of withdrawal from ICC

The Philippines’ government has officially informed the International Criminal Court (ICC) of its intention to withdraw from the body, accusing it of “weaponizing” the issue of human rights.

Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Teodoro Lopez Locsin delivered a letter of withdrawal from the Rome Statute — the treaty that established the ICC — to the UN on Thursday evening.

“The decision to withdraw is the Philippines’ principled stand against those who would politicize and weaponize human rights,” the letter read.

It said the Philippine government “affirms its commitment to fight against impunity for atrocity crimes,” despite withdrawal from the ICC.

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The image shows the Philippines’ letter of withdrawal from ICC posted on Twitter.

The official notice of withdrawal came days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced his country would exit ICC over a preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations that crimes against humanity have been committed during his war on drugs.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, speaking from Manila, said the Philippines was quitting due to “the well-orchestrated campaign to mislead the international community, to crucify President Duterte… by distorting the human rights situation in the country.”

Philippine police say they have killed roughly 4,000 drug dealers who resisted arrest during Duterte’s rule. Rights groups claim many more have been killed.

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