MANILA—Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Saturday challenged critics of the Duterte administration to war.
"You want to bring down the Duterte administration? Over my dead body. Giyera tayo (Let's go to war)," he said.
"Hinahamon ko kayo, giyera tayo. Gusto ninyo ng kudeta? Mag kudeta tayo, giyera tayo. Huwag nyo akong takutin."
(I am challenging you, let's go to war. You want to stage a coup? Go ahead stage a coup, let's go to war. Do not threaten me.)
Dela Rosa's comments came after the International Criminal Court launched a preliminary examination into alleged crimes against humanity in the government’s war on illegal drugs.
Allies of President Rodrigo Duterte have repeatedly floated alleged destabilization attempts against the government.
Opposition lawmakers, however, have denied fueling such attempts.
Dela Rosa warned the president's critics that they will not succeed in alleged attempts to bring down the government as the president continues to enjoy the confidence of the public.
"Manigas sila. Hindi nila kayang ibagsak 'yung presidente na elected by the people and ang trust rating is 83%," Dela Rosa said.
(They cannot bring down a president elected by the people and one with a trust rating of 83%.)