VERA FILES FACT CHECK: For the nth time, Duterte falsely claims all ICC judges are ‘white’


President Rodrigo Duterte again wrongly claimed, during his Jan. 4 “Talk to the People” address, that the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) are “white.”

This was at least the fourth time, by VERA Files Fact Check’s count, that Duterte made this wrong claim. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte, Panelo spew three false claims about ICC)

The current breakdown of the 18 judges in The Hague-based ICC are as follows: four from African states, four from Latin American and Caribbean states, two from Asia-Pacific states, three from Eastern European states, and five from Western European and other states.

Infographic: Not all judges of the ICC are white.

In November 2021, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced the temporary suspension of his office’s investigation into the alleged crimes against humanity committed under Duterte’s “war on drugs.” The suspension came after the Philippine government submitted a request to defer the ICC prosecutor’s probe. (See ICC prosecutor: Gov’t request to defer drug war probe must be backed with ‘substantial’ evidence and ICC authorizes full-blown probe into Duterte’s drug war)


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Presidential Communications Operations Office, Talk to the People of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte – Part I, Jan. 4, 2022 (transcript)

International Criminal Court, Who’s who, Accessed Jan. 7, 2022


(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.)