‘Bato’ says he will protect himself, Duterte from ICC if he wins presidency

Published October 19, 2021, 11:44 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential aspirant Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday said he is committed to protect himself and President Duterte from the International Criminal Court (ICC) should he win the presidency.

Dela Rosa said he wants to protect himself, and Duterte, since both of them are co-accused for crimes against humanity in the ICC which was mounted by victims of alleged state-sponsored extrajudicial killings brought about by the President’s hard-line stance against illegal drugs.

“Hindi lang si President Duterte protektahan ko, pati sarili ko dahil dalawa kaming co-accused diyan sa kaso na ‘yan. So protektahan ko rin sarili ko (I will not only protect President Duterte but also myself because both of us are co-accused in that case. I will also protect myself),” Dela Rosa said in an interview on ANC Headstart.

If he becomes the president, he would allow the ICC to come to the Philippines to “observe for themselves” but not to conduct an invesetigation.

“Sampal yan sa ating judicial system. Sampal yan sa ating Supreme Court. Sampal yan sa ating mga courts (That’s a slap to our judicial system. It’s a slap to our Supreme Court. It’s a slap to our courts),” the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief pointed out.

“They are functioning, so bakit sila makikialam dito (why are they going to meddle here)? Our judicial system is perfectly functioning,” he pointed out.

Dela Rosa was then the PNP chief when he carried out “Oplan Tokhang,” the President’s campaign against illegal drugs where thousands have been reported killed in just a few months of its implementation.

But the senator rejected that crimes against humanity had been perpetrated by the Duterte administration and denied the Amnesty International’s (AI) report on the extra judicial killings.

“May nangyayari bang crimes against humanity dito sa ating bansa? Wag na tayong pumunta sa Amnesty na yan kasi alam natin na biased ang mga tao na yan dahil (Were there any crimes against humanity happening here in our country? Let’s not even go to the Amnesty report because we know the people there are biased because) they are fed with lies,” Dela Rosa said.

While there have been police officers who indeed abused their authority during anti-narcotics operations, Dela Rosa insisted these are being prosecuted.

“Hindi man tayo nagpapabaya diyan (We do not let it pass),” he said.

Should he also win the presidency, Dela Rosa said he is also committed to continue Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

However, his approach to solving the country’s illegal drugs would be different to Duterte.

“You can expect there would be a deviation from this purely Duterte approach. Meron din tayong sariling nakikita na ikagaganda ng ating bansa (We also see something that we can do to improve our nation),” he stressed.