Colmenares slams Bato for seeking presidency to evade ICC probe

Published October 19, 2021, 4:04 PM

by Ben Rosario

Makabayan bloc senatorial bet Neri Colmenares on Tuesday, Oct. 19 chided Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa for seeking the presidency with the alleged main objective of shielding himself and President Rodrigo Duterte from being prosecuted before the International Criminal Court.

Rep. Nery Colmenares

“Senator Bato Dela Rosa is gravely mistaken about his role as senator and aspiring president. Aside from making his Senate office President Duterte’s rubber stamp, he is now looking at his future presidency as a shield for himself and his boss against criminal liability,” said Colmenares, a human rights lawyer.

In a media interview, Dela Rosa admitted that if he clinches the presidency next year, he will not allow the ICC to conduct its probe on the deaths of thousands of suspected drug pushers and users by police operatives during Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.

Dela Rosa was the chief of the Philippine National Police when many of the killings took place.

The administration-backed senator filed his candidacy as standard bearer of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing in which Duterte is the chairman.

“Aside from the possibility of being a placeholder for Sara Duterte, he aims for the presidency to be a shield for himself and Duterte from any criminal liability, as the International Criminal Court (ICC) is poised to investigate and let the truth about their failed and deadly drug war come out,” said Colmenares in a press statement addressed to Dela Rosa.

He lectured the administration presidential bet on how the ICC conducts its investigation into crimes against humanity brought before it.
 According to Colmenares the ICC “works under the presumption of non-cooperation of the accused.” “Whether or not Dela Rosa and Duterte cooperate, the ICC will find a way to investigate, prosecute and punish them,” the former congressman explained.

.“The presidency or any government position should not be used as a barrier versus criminal liability. If I were Duterte or Dela Rosa, they better start preparing their defense in the ICC,” Colmenares pointed out.