Duterte, not only ‘Bato,’ must be ‘nervous’ about ICC drug war probe—Trillanes

Published October 23, 2021, 10:43 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Both President Duterte and his former police chief, Senator Ronald Dela Rosa, should both be nervous of the International Criminal Court (ICC) case that will look into the spate of extrajudicial killings they perpetrated in the name of the government’s war on drugs, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said.

President Rodrigo Duterte and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (Malacañang/Czar Dancel/Manila Bulletin)

He said that when the time comes, he will “volunteer” to bring them to the ICC at The Hague in The Netherlands.

“Well, sila dapat dalawa ang nerbyosin ano kasi talagang sila ‘yung mga arkitekto nito noong mga pagpatay (they both should be nervous because they are really the architects of these killings),” Trillanes, who is seeking a reelection in 2022, warned during an online interview on Friday, Oct. 22.

According to ICC policies, the court will look not at the drug angle but the fact that as president, Duterte should’ve protected the Filipinos’ rights.

“Pero ikaw pa ‘yung nagpasimuno ng pagpatay sa mga konstituente mo. So, mananagot sila diyan (But you’re even the one who led the killings of the constituents. So, they will answer to that),” the senatorial aspirant said.

READ: ICC probe a step towards justice, jail time for Duterte — Trillanes

Dela Rosa was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when Duterte ordered shortly after he won the presidency to start the government’s flagship anti-drug campaign, also referred to as Oplan Tokhang.

Official figures said that the operation killed more than 8,000 people, but human rights watchers said the number can balloon up to 30,000.

The ICC has since opened an investigation into the President’s bloody war on drugs campaign after finding evidence of “crimes against humanity.”

Last week, Duterte admitted that Dela Rosa, who is now running under the President’s PDP-Laban party as standard-bearer for the 2022 polls, was “nervous” because of the ICC case.

READ: Rody reveals that ex-PNP chief Bato is ‘nervous’ over ICC probe

The Chief Executive said he reminded the former PNP chief to point to him since he was the one who ordered the operations.

During the same online interview, Trillanes reminded the public that at least two “insiders” have already identified Duterte and his allies are allegedly part of a drug syndicate.

He was referring to former Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Illegal Drugs Group chief Eduardo Acierto who identified Michael Yang, ex-presidential adviser for economics affairs and also allegedly the financier of Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Inc., as a “drug lord.”

Next is retired policeman Arturo Lascanas who testified against Duterte’s Davao death squad.

“Sinasabi ko nga, liliwanagin ko, hindi natin kinukunsinti ‘yung mga drug lords, ‘yung mga drug addicts. Pero kung drug addict ‘yan, pwede mong i-rehabilitate ‘yan para magkaroon sila ng tsansang mailagay sa mainstream. Ngayon, ‘yung kriminal, ikulong natin (As I was saying, and I will clarify this, we are not condoning the drug lords and drug addicts. But if they are drug addicts, we can rehabilitate them so they can have a chance to rejoin the mainstream. Now, if criminal, let’s put them in jail),” he added.

Trillanes and former Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano filed a supplemental communication before the ICC in The Hague in 2017.

The supplement said the “State is unwilling to even investigate the extrajudicial killings in the country and because of the President’s immunity, unable to prosecute President Duterte.”