The S&D Group strongly criticises the decision made by president Rodrigo Duterte to pull the Philippines out of the international criminal court (ICC). There is no doubt that this decision – made after the ICC opened an investigation into Duterte’s brutal war on drugs – does nothing but confirm his fear of being held to account.

Elena Valenciano, S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs and human rights, said:

“The announcement by the president of the Philippines to abandon the international criminal court only confirms his absolute lack of respect for international law, the criminal law of his own country and any rule of civilisation.  The anti-drugs campaign of Duterte is already accountable for 4,000 killed by the police and 7,000 killed by civilians. All those are summary executions without neither police nor judicial guarantees.

The S&D Group vice-president on foreign affairs, Victor Boştinaru, added:

“President Duterte’s announcement is extremely worrying. While his right to withdraw the country from the court without the consent of the Philippines Senate needs to be verified, this step will not impede the further continuation of the investigation by the ICC into president Duterte’s drugs war. However, it would mean depriving the Philippines of a fundamental safeguard of human rights. The ICC must be given the conditions to thoroughly continue its proceedings. President Duterte must be held accountable if the charge of crimes against humanity is confirmed.”