EFEBangkok Desk

The president of the Philippines said on Wednesday (Manila time) that those who "have acted beyond bounds" during police operations shall be held accountable according to the country's laws, a week after the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will investigate his war on drugs.

In a pre-recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Tuesday, Rodrigo Duterte said that he has instructed the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police to review the conduct of the authorities during the anti-drugs campaign that he launched upon his arrival to power in 2016 and that has claimed the lives of least 6,181 people.

"The law applies to all (...) Those found to have acted beyond bounds during operations shall be made accountable before our laws," said the president, who spent much of his speech criticizing the UN and the imposition of norms on other countries.

Duterte, who did not mention the ICC probe directly, said that "meaningful change, to be enduring, must come from within," adding that "the imposition of one's will over another – no matter how noble the intent – has never worked in the past. And it never will in the future."