VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte FALSELY CLAIMS the EU created the ICC

Read this fact check in Filipino

President Rodrigo Duterte wrongly claimed at least twice last month that the European Union (EU) created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

STATEMENT

In an Oct. 18 speech, Duterte slammed critics of the government’s drug war who invoke human rights, saying they do not grasp the extent of corruption in the country’s justice system:

“(D)o not drag me into that ICC. I will not submit to you, you idiots. ICC, who created that? Europe, EU.”

Source: PCOO, Rodrigo Duterte, Speech at the Concluding Ceremonies of the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Oct. 18, 2018, watch from 53:53-54:11.

In another speech on Oct. 28, he indirectly addressed ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda:

“But for me to honor the summons of this and that --- and that short lady there, a black who has been announcing that they start their investigation. Sabi ko, ‘P***** i**, if I see you I’ll slap you.’ And I will really slap him (sic), Ambassador. Believe me I will slap a lady. Who are you to threaten me? …What is your relevance? You have a court. It is a creation of the European Union.”

Source: PCOO, Rodrigo Duterte, Speech at the Birthday/Thanksgiving Party of Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Oct. 28, 2018, watch from 22:46-23:02.

FACT

The EU, an economic and political union of 28 countries, did not create the ICC.

Though based in the Hague, Netherlands, an EU member, the court is an independent and permanent institution established by the Rome Statute in 1998, a treaty or international agreement 120 countries, including the Philippines, had voted in favor of.

Only seven countries voted against the statute, including China, Israel and the United States, while 21 abstained in an unrecorded vote. A total of 124 countries are party to the ICC as of February 2017.

The ICC investigates, prosecutes and tries individuals accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

Explaining its vote at the United Nations Diplomatic Conference back then, the 10-member Philippine delegation said the statute “contains the vital elements for establishing the (ICC).”

Meanwhile, Austria, on behalf of the EU said the EU has “always affirmed the need for a Court in which it could have faith.”

The Philippine government withdrew from the ICC in March after the court launched a preliminary examination of the killings arising from the government’s drug war.

Early this year, Duterte falsely claimed the Philippines was "not ever a member" of the ICC (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Dutete says PH was ‘not ever’ a member of the ICC. Is that so?).

Sources

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Rodrigo Duterte, Speech at the Concluding Ceremonies of the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, Oct. 18, 2018

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Rodrigo Duterte, Speech at the Birthday/Thanksgiving Party of Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Oct. 28, 2018

International Criminal Court, Understanding the International Criminal Court

International Criminal Court, Rome Proceedings Volume II

International Criminal Court, Some Questions and Answers

United Nations, UN DIPLOMATIC CONFERENCE CONCLUDES IN ROME WITH DECISION TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, July 20, 1998.

International Criminal Court, Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, on opening Preliminary Examinations into the situations in the Philippines and in Venezuela, Feb. 8, 2018

VERA Files, ICC complaint cites story of Ernesto Avasola, ‘first Matobato’, April 27, 2018

GMA News Online, Fresh ICC complaint vs. Duterte over drug war deaths, Aug. 28, 2018

Reuters, Philippines’ Duterte hit by new ICC complaint over deadly drug war, Aug. 28, 2018

Inquirer.net, Duterte faces new drug war complaint in ICC, Aug. 29, 2018

CNN Philippines, The Source speaks to Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon, Oct. 2, 2018


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

FOR FURTHER READING

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