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Foreign critics may serve as ‘live human targets’ to military, Duterte quips

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday took a dig at foreign critics, saying he is willing to offer them as “live human targets” to the military.

Speaking before troops in Capas, Tarlac, Duterte said he can only take criticism from his countrymen as the President views international condemnation of his domestic policies, particularly the war on drugs, as interference in the country’s affairs.

“If I fell short, then as a Filipino, that is your right to criticize and even slam me if you want. I would never, never take it against you. Pero kung itong mga puti, itong mga g___ na ito, magpunta dito, maghanap ng kasalanan natin,” he said.

“Kaya sige lang, balang araw ‘pag naubusan kayo ng target at gusto ninyo ng live fire pati live human target, makapagdala lang ako ng tatlo niyan, makita mo ‘yan eh puro puti,” Duterte said in jest. “Bwisit.”

Duterte had a similar remark in March when he told soldiers in Zamboanga City that the United Nations human rights team should be fed to crocodiles if they came to the Philippines to probe the alleged extrajudicial killings in the course of the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

He also told the police at the time to ignore the human rights investigators.

Duterte is currently facing two communications in connection with the drug war before the International Criminal Court (ICC), which opened in February a preliminary examination to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the matter, and a full-blown investigation would serve the interests of justice and of the victims.

Duterte responded by withdrawing the Philippines’ membership in the ICC in March, a move challenged by opposition senators before the Supreme Court.

He had repeatedly said that the ICC had no jurisdiction over him, arguing that the Rome Statute — the treaty that established the court— is not enforceable in the Philippines because it was not published in a government publication or any commercial newspaper.

Malacañang said The Hague-based tribunal may only exercise jurisdiction if the country's courts are unable or unwilling to hear cases related to drug-related killings.

The Palace also said the war on drugs is a sovereign act. — BAP, GMA News