President Rodrigo Duterte is confident the International Criminal Court (ICC) cannot prosecute him over his bloody campaign against illegal drugs even "for a thousand years."
Duterte made the remark in his speech during the Bonifacio Day celebration in Caloocan City on Saturday.
"You know, we have repudiated the International Criminal Court. And I said, you cannot prosecute me for a thousand years," Duterte said in his speech.
"Lumabas tayo through me, I admit. Hindi nila ako maku... Mas bright ako sa kanila," he added.
Duterte is facing two communications in relation to allegations of crimes against humanity over the war on drugs before the ICC.
The ICC opened in February last year 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.
But Duterte insisted that lawyers could not find any extrajudicial killing made in the name of his war on drugs.
"Kayong mga abogado, wala man kayong makitang extrajudicial killing. There's no such a crime as extrajudicial killing. They will individually count the dead and charge it to you. O 'di sige tingnan natin," he said.
The President even claimed the country's ratification of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the establishment of the ICC, was not published on the Official Gazette, hence making it "not a law."
"That is a law. It has to pass Congress, as with Congress concur in treaties. Kasi its concurrence then ipasa mo sa Presidente. And Erap (former President Joseph Estrada) signed it. But the problem is eager masyado sila," he said.
"It's not a law. It was not published. It was not forward... It was not given back to Erap. After signing then Erap should send it. Wala," he added.
Duterte said members of the ICC are nothing but "idiots," and that there is nothing to be afraid of with the cases they might file against him.
"Ako 75 lang [grades] pero I'd love to have a debate with these idiots. I hope someday. Ipakita ko sa kanila kung paano sila naging bobo. Totoo. Kaya huwag kayong matakot diyan sa mga kaso-kaso. Hindi 'yan marunong," he said.
"Pagdating niyan sa korte, sayaw-sayawan ko pa ng Pandanggo 'yan," he added.
In March last year, Duterte announced that the Philippines was withdrawing its ratification of the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, due to “baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks” against him and his administration.
The Philippines' withdrawal from the ICC formally took effect on March 17 this year. —Erwin Colcol/KG, GMA News