Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he assumes "full responsibility" for the deadly anti-drug campaign that began when he came to power and has left thousands of deaths in police raids and other incidents.

"If there is someone who should go to prison, it should be me. But it should be a Philippine court that judges me," said the controversial president Thursday night during a speech with a defiant tone towards the International Criminal Court, which gave the green light to an investigation for crimes against humanity in this campaign promoted by Duterte.

The statements of the Philippine president, who ends his term in mid-2022, come after the Department of Justice of his country questioned this week the official version in the death of 52 alleged traffickers killed by the Police during the war on drugs.