Philippines' Duterte will not cooperate with ICC drug war probe: lawyer

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court's probe into his drug war, his lawyer has said (AFP/Noel CELIS)
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not cooperate with the International Criminal Court's probe into the drug war, his lawyer said Thursday, insisting the tribunal does not have jurisdiction in the country.

ICC judges authorised Wednesday a full-blown investigation into Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign -- that rights group estimate has killed tens of thousands of people -- saying it resembled an illegitimate and systematic attack on civilians.

Duterte "will not cooperate since first of all, the Philippines has left the Rome statute, so the ICC no longer has jurisdiction over the country," chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo told local radio DZBB.

"The government will not let in any ICC member to collect information and evidence here in the Philippines, they will be barred entry."

Duterte has repeatedly attacked the world's only permanent war crimes court, calling it "bullshit" and vowing not to cooperate with its probe.

The firebrand leader drew international censure when he pulled the Philippines from the court after it launched a preliminary investigation into his drugs crackdown.

At least 6,181 people have been killed in over 200,000 anti-drug operations conducted since July 2016, according to the latest official data released by the Philippines.

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