Dela Rosa refuses to cooperate with ICC on drug war probe

·2 min read
Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. (Photo: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)

Senator and former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Monday (July 18) reaffirmed his refusal to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation on the drug war of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

He described a cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be “like being grilled in one’s own fire.”

Para mo akong sinusugba, parang gusto mo kong ihawin sa sarili kong apoy. I am the number 2 accused and gusto mo akong papasok na lang sa kanilang kagustuhan,” he said.

(It’s like I’m being barbecued, it’s like you want to grill me in my own flames. I am the number 2 accused and you want me to give in to their demands.)

Dela Rosa was in charge of the PNP from the first day of the Duterte administration to April 19, 2018, before being installed in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). By September 26, 2017, according to the 2018 World Report of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), the death toll was already at 12,000 people.

He previously said that he will not cooperate with ICC days after he filed a Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the presidency.

The former PNP chief added that he was willing to face the law, for as long as the case was handled by Philippine courts.

Wala akong kinakatakutan, ang takot ko lang, ‘yung magta-try sa ‘kin, hindi alam ‘yung problema dito sa ating bansa kaya ang kinakatakutan ko na hindi nila alam ‘yung ginagawa natin dito,” he said. “I can face any courts kung gusto mo akong kasuhan, dito kasuhan mo ako sa korte ng Pilipinas. Alam ko na mga Pilipino ang magta-try sa ‘kin ‘pag ganun.

(I don’t fear anything, the only thing I’m afraid of, is that the ones who will try me, do not know the problems in our country so I’m afraid that they don’t know what we are doing here. I can face courts if you want to file a case against me, file a case through a court in the Philippines. That way I know Filipinos will try me.)

He went on to criticize the ICC, “Who are they to judge our working judicial system? Bakit sila nakikialam dito sa ating domestic affairs? Siguro pwede silang pumasok kung hindi gumagana ‘yung ating justice system pero it’s perfectly working, wala namang akong nakikitang problema.

(Who are they to judge our working judicial system? Why are they meddling with our domestic affairs? I guess they can intervene if the justice system is dysfunctional, but it’s perfectly working, I don’t see any problem.)

The Philippine judicial system was scrutinized by the late veteran journalist Neal H. Cruz in 2014, in a column where he described it to be “the slowest in the world.” The justice system meanwhile, particularly the Department of Justice (DOJ), was lambasted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for having a mechanism “slow in holding perpetrators liable for violations” in investigating extrajudicial killings.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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