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ICC warrant vs Putin a 'warning' against Duterte drug war defenders — senator

James Relativo - Philstar.com
ICC warrant vs Putin a 'warning' against Duterte drug war defenders â senator
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting in Moscow late on May 23, 2017.
AFP / Pool / MAXIM SHEMETOV

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros is optimistic that the warrant of arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin should serve as a "fair warning" against people who deny justice to victims of former President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war.

The ICC last Friday announced that the arrest warrant against Putin involved "unlawful" deportation of 16,000 Ukranian children to Russia since the February 2022 invasion, a move seen by the international court as a war crime.

Duterte is being investigated by the ICC for "crimes against humanity" largely due to his brutal directives to kill drug suspects without regard for human rights groups. 

Government data show that over 6,000 people were killed in the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs.” Rights groups, however, say that up to 30,000 may have been killed, with some of them innocent or executed without due process.

"The arrest warrant for President Putin is a strong message to the global community that the world will not idly watch while war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity are being committed within territories of individual countries," said Hontiveros in a statement Saturday.

"I can only hope that there is something to be learned from this. To those who continue to deny justice to victims of State-sponsored abuses, including the excesses of a failed Drug War, consider this fair warning. 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.'"

Current President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in February called the ICC's ongoing drug war probe against his predecessor as "a threat to Philippine sovereignty," this while maintaining that the court no longer has jurisdiction over the country.

While the Philippinews effectively left the international court last March 2019, the ICC said that it still has jurisdiction over violations that occured in the country while it was still a state party.

The Commission on Human Rights last January said that it is ready to assist Marcos should it decide to cooperate with the ICC over the drug war probe. Marcos, in 2022, however stated that he has no plans of rejoining the ICC.

Like Philippines, Russia says ICC has no jurisdiction over them

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the ICC's arrest warrant as "void" since Russia no longer recognizes the ICC.

In 2000, Russia signed the Rome Statute — the treaty which created the ICC. However, they never ratified the agreement to become a member. In 2016, Putin formally withdrew Russia's signature from its founding statute.

"Moscow may continue to argue that the warrants are moot, but member-states to the ICC are dutybound to arrest those upon whom warrants are served when they come into the territory of an ICC member-state," continued Hontiveros.

"This already severely curtails movement of perpetrators. Further, Kyiv has accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC over crimes on its territory."

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrants to toilet paper, while Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova maintained that it continues to "have no meaning" for Russia.

BONGBONG MARCOS

HUMAN RIGHTS

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

INVASION

RODRIGO DUTERTE

RUSSIA

UKRAINE

VLADIMIR PUTIN

WAR ON DRUGS

WARRANT OF ARREST

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