MANILA – Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine deserves condemnation, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Tuesday.
In a speech in Butuan City, Duterte acknowledged how both he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are both facing cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and war crimes, respectively.
However, he reiterated that he was different from Putin because he only allowed the killing of “criminals” while the latter authorized bombings of the children and elderly.
“Nagpapatay ako ng tao pero ang pinapatay ko kriminal. Hindi ako bumubomba ng bata, matanda (I kill people but they’re criminals. I don’t kill children, elderly),” Duterte said.
Although he described Putin as his “friend”, Duterte said Russia’s attacks on Ukraine were “so brutal.”
“Magkaibigan kami ni Putin (Putin and I are friends). What is happening there deserves condemnation. Hindi maganda (It’s not good),” he added.
In an episode of The President’s Chatroom aired on Monday, Duterte maintained that he is not like Putin.
“Totoo naman may kaso ako. At ‘yung patay, baka nga totoo. So pero naman hindi naman ako kagaya kay Putin (It’s true I’m facing cases. And the deaths may be true. But I am not like Putin),” he told his guest, senatorial bet and former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
‘We don’t kill without reason’
Meanwhile, he lashed out at the international tribunal anew for looking into alleged crimes against humanity related to killings in Duterte’s anti-narcotics campaign.
“Itong mga ‘to, itong mga puti, kita mo gusto nila sila yung magpolice sa amin (These white people, they keep wanting to police us),” he said.
He justified drug war killings during police operations, noting that they were done in the context of self-defense.
“Kunwari pa pinapatay namin ng walang rason. Sinong g*g* papatay ng tao na walang karason rason (They make it appear like we will kill without reason. Who would kill without reason)?” he added.
Duterte repeatedly said he would not cooperate with the ICC and only face a Philippine court.
In September 2021, the ICC pre-trial chamber allowed a probe into the killings tied to Duterte’s war on drugs.
The Philippines in November 2021 asked the ICC to defer the investigation, saying it is already acting on the deaths associated with the drug war.
The ICC has granted the request with the reservation that the ICC “will continue its analysis of information already in its possession and any new information it may receive from third parties.”
In March 2018, Duterte ordered the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute after ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda embarked on a preliminary examination into his drug war in February of the same year.
The Philippines officially cut ties with the ICC on March 17, 2019, or exactly a year after the Rome Statute’s abrogation. (PNA)
Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph