"I assume full responsibility," Duterte says of drug war

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he assumes full responsibility for a violent war on drugs that has killed thousands of people, Reuters reported.

Why it matters: Last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) formally authorized an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity during Duterte's war on drugs.

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Catch up quick: Under his leadership, thousands of people have been killed in police drug operations in the Philippines since 2016.

  • Earlier this month, Duterte announced that he would retire instead of seeking the vice presidency in next year's elections. National polls indicated public opposition to his candidacy, which could have provided a means to shield him from prosecution.

What he's saying: "I assume full responsibility," Duterte said during a speech Thursday, per Reuters.

  • "If there is any person who is going to prison, it would be me," he added.

But, but, but: Duterte emphasized that he would only consent to a trial in a Philippine court over any alleged crimes, and not in an international one, according to Reuters.

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