'World police': Dela Rosa slams EU lawmakers for 'interfering' in PH drug war

Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2023 07:57 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2023 08:13 PM

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MANILA — Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Thursday criticized the European Parliament (EP) for allegedly interfering with Philippine sovereignty when it expressed concern over the extrajudicial killings during the Duterte administration's bloody drug war.

Calling them "world police", Dela Rosa told ANC that he personally felt that the European lawmakers were like teachers lecturing Philippine senators, and demanded that they should be treated as equals.

"Medyo mataas ang boses niya, para siyang boss namin. Who the hell are you? You are not our boss. Magrespetuhan tayo dito," he said, referring to the Spanish parliamentarian who allegedly raised his voice at him.

Sen. Francis Tolentino earlier said that no voices were raised in contempt during the meeting on Tuesday, and that the Spanish lawmaker only needed to speak up as he could not speak English and needed an interpreter.

But Dela Rosa responded to Tolentino's clarification, saying: "Mabait lang iyan siya, si Senator Tolentino."

Asked what his takeaways from the meeting were, Dela Rosa said the session with EP lawmakers had confirmed his suspicions that the European Union had been acting like the "world police."

"Parang sarado na iyong utak nila... Ang nakita ko dito, they came here to consult us, and to know the real situation, and to know the truth, but they come here as world police," he said. 

"If I misinterpreted their actions, forgive me. But ang dating sa akin is parang ganoon," the senator added.

He also insisted on the Philippine government's position that it has a functioning justice system and independence to look into the cases of alleged human rights violations during the war on drugs.

"Huwag mong lamunin iyong pride para lang magsipsip ka sa mga puti, magsipsip sa mga European. May sarili tayong identity, may sarili tayong paninindigan. Huwag tayong magpapasipsip sa kanila dahil forever nila tayong bu-bully-hin."

Dela Rosa said he had to leave the meeting ahead, as he had to attend to another committee deliberation on the compensation for victims of the Marawi siege.

Dela Rosa was the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief during the height of the drug war in 2016.

During the meeting Tuesday, the EP lawmakers maintained their position urging the Philippines to allow the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the drug war.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. himself said that the Philippine government would refuse to cooperate in such investigation, saying that the ICC has no jurisdiction in the country.

The Philippines was a signatory of the Rome Statute that established the ICC, but later withdrew its membership in 2019.