PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would join Russia and China in establishing a “new world order,” hitting the United Nations anew for failing to prevent wars.
Duterte made the declaration before leaving for a major gathering of world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru, where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Not yet done with his tirades against the UN for criticizing his bloody campaign on illegal drugs, Duterte threatened to follow Russia in withdrawing from the 1998 Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose chief prosecutor had warned the President against encouraging summary killings.
Speaking in his hometown of Davao City, Duterte said: “They (Russians) may have thought the International Criminal Court is [useless], so they withdrew their membership.”
“I might follow. Why? Because these shameless bullies only picked on small countries like us,” he said.
The Philippines is among 124 countries that are members of the UN-backed ICC, the world’s only permanent war crimes court.
Duterte also repeated an earlier threat to pull the Philippines out of the UN, saying the world body had failed to stop wars that had killed “thousands” of women and children.
“You know if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I will be the first to join,” he said.
Moscow withdrew from the Rome Statute on Wednesday, unhappy with the ICC’s investigation into Russia’s brief 2008 war with neighboring Georgia. The ICC is also conducting a preliminary investigation of alleged crimes committed in Ukraine during street protests in late 2013 as well as events after February 2014 including the annexation of Crimea and the downing of the MH17 flight over eastern Ukraine.
The US, which is also accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, withdrew from the ICC in 2002.
Last month ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was “deeply concerned” about thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, warning that those responsible could face prosecution.
More than 4,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. About 1,800 were shot dead by police and about 2,600 others were murdered by unidentified attackers, according to official statistics.
Duterte has challenged Ban and international human rights experts to visit the country and investigate the allegations, while insisting his government has done nothing illegal.
On Thursday, ahead of the APEC summit in Lima, Duterte warned his international counterparts, including US President Barack Obama, not to lecture him on human rights.
“They will really get it from me, and I will lecture them on the finer points of civilization,” he said.
“You threaten us as if we are your laborers and threaten to have me jailed. Me, go to jail? You children of whores I will take you all down with me,” he said.
Duterte recalled his confrontation with Obama and Ban at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Laos in September, during which the US leader cancelled a bilateral meeting with him.
Duterte said his critics did not realize the “hugeness of the problem” of illegal drugs, which, he pointed out, had left four million Filipinos hooked.
“They refused to listen so I said, ‘You sons of whores, screw you!’”