Officials of the previous Rodrigo Duterte administration continue to rail against the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to resume its probe on the drug war killings in the Philippines. Among the most vocal against it is Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, co-author of the police playbook on the war on drugs, Oplan Tokhang, and the first police chief Duterte appointed during his term.

“Puwede n’yo akong bitayin any time ‘pag na-prove n’yo diyan na ako’y nagkakasala. You can hang me in front of the Filipino people. You can hang me through the decision of the Filipino courts. But my god, not by a foreigner,” Dela Rosa said on February 4.

The Duterte administration pushed for the country to withdraw its membership after ICC began its preliminary investigations in 2018

“The government does not want them to come in and conduct their own probe because it is an impingement of our sovereignty. Sa ngayon po hindi na tayo saklaw ng ICC they don’t have a jurisdiction over us….siguro,” Duterte’s close ally Dela Rosa said in a radio program interview.

“Ang pinagpinuputok ng butchi ng gobyerno natin ngayon, hindi naman tungkol doon sa panahon na iyon kundi sa article number 1 ng Rome Statute which speaks about complimentarity,” Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa hit the ICC’s seeming discontent with the local investigations on the war on drugs killings.

“Who the hell are they to impose their standards on us? We have our own laws, we have our own courts that are functioning, we have our own prosecution, and we have our own judicial system that is perfectly and very robustly functioning,” Dela Rosa said.

“Baka gusto ng ICC na all those reported 6,000 deaths during the war on drugs na involve doon, that’s unfair and unjust to us kung ganoon ang gusto nilang mangyayari…Talagang maggiyera tayo diyan kapag sabihin ninyo iyan,” Dela Rosa added.

Netizens react over Bato’s remarks

Former Commission on Elections commissioner Rowena Guanzon took over the Twitter algorithm and even spoke about Dela Rosa’s recent pronouncements.

Netizens chided on the senator’s remarks. According to them, it seemed as if Dela Rosa is just doing it for a show, adding that he need not be wary or afraid on the ICC probe resumption if he really has nothing to hide.

Dela Rosa even favored the idea to arrest ICC personnel should they enter and push through the investigation within the country.

idea of arresting ICC personnel came from Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.This, he said, is if he will be the one deciding to control what must be done for ICC’s “insult” to the country.

Yet again, Dela Rosa blamed the progressive groups that he constantly linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines and further accused as members of New People’s Army, saying that these groups are rallying behind ICC’s decision since they were vocal critics of the Duterte administration.

“Sila na nasa labas na nagrerely lang sa mga paninira at reports nitong kalaban ng Duterte administration na bumawi, kung maniniwala sila diyan, we don’t care,” Dela Rosa said.

Bato on Fortun’s findings

“Kung totoo ‘yang findings ni Fortun, ipa-file. May NBI naman tayo nag-conduct ng investigation. I-file ‘yan. Kaya nga nag-imbestiga siya para makakuha tayo ng ebidensiya. I-file niya dito sa ating korte, hindi doon sa ICC. Wala silang jurisdiction sa atin,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said that if Fortun participates in the probe of the ICC then it seemed as if she mocked the country’s independence and sovereignty.

Dr. Raquel Fortun is one of the two forensic pathologists in the country. She examined twice the body of a 16-year-old drug war victim Kian Delos Santos. Her findings revealed another bullet found in Delos Santos’ neck, differed from the post-mortem examinations conducted by the Philippine National Police and the Public Attorney’s Office that said Delos Santos’ body only had a superficial cut.

Aside from Delos Santos, Fortun examined at least 73 other drug war victims. She noted said that she is ready to present these findings to the ICC.


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