Dela Rosa denies fearing ICC probe, insists his 'heart is pure'

Published October 27, 2021, 9:55 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Presidential candidate and incumbent Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has denied he is afraid of facing the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is investigating the Duterte government’s war against illegal drugs.

Dela Rosa, standard bearer of the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) in the upcoming May 2022 national elections, said he had only raised his concerns to the President but clarified he is not afraid of the ICC probe.

“I raised that concern sa kanya (with him) and again, as a good commander-in-chief, he told me that ‘Relax ka lang, akong bahala dito’ I assume full responsibility of everything that happened during my presidency. Wag kang mag-alala.’ Hindi naman ako takot diyan dahil malinis man yung puso ko’, (I’m not worried over that because my heart is pure),” Dela Rosa said in a recent online interview.

Duterte had earlier disclosed that the former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief is “nervous” about the ICC probe but assured him that he will take care of the matter.

Dela Rosa was the chief implementer of the government’s ‘Oplan Tokhang’ –the administration’s intensive anti-narcotics campaign which has resulted to the deaths of thousands of Filipinos.

The senator likened the matter of the ICC probe to the Biblical story of “David and Goliath” where he and the President would be the “David” while the ICC would be the “Goliath.”

“Hindi naman ibig sabihin ‘pag concerned ka, admission of guilt kaagad ‘yan. Concerned lang tayo dahil bago ito, ibang klaseng korte itong haharapin natin at (It doesn’t mean that if you are concerned, it’s already an admission of guilt. We are just concerned because this is new, and we are facing a different court and) we know we’re facing a Goliath,” Dela Rosa said.

“David lang tayo, napaka-Goliath ‘yung haharapin natin. But tandaan ninyo, ‘yung isang maliit na David, ‘yung maliit na bato na bala ni David sa kanyang slingshot ay nakakapuwing rin ‘yan sa mata ng isang Goliath (We are just a David, and we are facing a Goliath. But remember, a small person like David was able to use a small stone to bring down Goliath),” he pointed out.

Should he become the next president, Dela Rosa reiterated he would allow the ICC to enter the country to observe our peace and order situation, but would not allow them to conduct an investigation.

“So, hindi ko sila papayagang mag-imbestiga, pero papayagan ko silang pumasok at mag-observe (I won’t allow them to investigate, but I will allow them to enter and observe).

“They have to observe for themselves kung talagang totoo ‘yung mga paratang na nakarating sa kanila na (if the allegations that reached them that) there are crimes against humanity that are happening here in the Philippines, kung talaga bang hindi nagpa-function ang ating criminal justice system (if our criminal justice system is really not functioning),” he pointed out.

“Ipapa-obserba ko sa kanila para malaman nila at mapapahiya sila sa kanilang makikita kapag sila ay aking pinapasok at pinapag-obserba sa ating daily activities dito sa Pilipinas (I will let them observe so they would know and they would be shamed on what they would see when we allow them to enter and observe our daily activities here in the Philippines),” he said.