Dela Rosa: 'Third force' behind ICC probe on drug war

Senator Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Friday, January 27 expressed belief that a "third force" composed of all staunch critics of former president Rodrigo Duterte is behind the International Criminal Court's (ICC) insistence to investigate the past administration's bloody war on drugs.

Dela Rosa made the assumption after the ICC authorized anew the continuation of the probe on the Duterte administration's controversial campaign against illegal drugs.

The senator said he believes this "third force" wants to exact revenge against the former president.

"There are some forces na nagtutulak sa kanila na itutuloy nila kahit na yung Filipino people ay walang effort na..hindi nagkukumahog na mag conduct ng investigation (who are pushing them to pursue even if the Filipino people themselves are not making efforts to... are not eager to conduct an investigation)," Dela Rosa said in an online interview with reporters.

"In fact, ayaw nga ng mga Filipino na pumasok sila dito. So merong outside forces, may third force siguro na gusto talagang itutuloy yung imbestigasyon (Filipinos do not want them to come here. So there are outside forces, maybe a third force who really want to pursue the investigation)" he said.

"Galit sila, galit sila dahil tinamaan sila ng husto ng Duterte admin. ‘Yung kaliwa...basta lahat ng anti-Duterte forces gustong-gusto talaga nila na ma-prosecute (They are so mad because they were directly affected by the Duterte administration. The left, all the anti-Duterte forces are really eager to prosecute)," he added.

Asked if he is referring to former senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, Dela Rosa quickly replied: "Sino pa ba? (Who else?")

"Sino ba nag initiate ng probe (Who initiated this probe)?" he pointed out.

Dela Rosa, however, said critics of the past administration should be reminded that their family and loved ones are benefitting from the “peace and tranquility” brought about by the war on drugs.

At the same time, he said he has no plans to file a case against them, saying he doesn't want to waste time dealing with them.

“Manigas sila. Wala akong pakialam sa kanila. HIndi ko sila fa-file-an ng kaso. Bahala sila sa buhay nila (I won't engage them. I won't file cases against them. They can just live their lives)," he said.

Dela Rosa earlier questioned the motives of the ICC in pursuing the probe into the Duterte administration's bloody war on drugs.