Bato says court of last resort is 'heaven', not ICC

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2022 06:47 PM

Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa. Voltaire F. Domingo, Senate PRIB/file
Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa. Voltaire F. Domingo, Senate PRIB/file

MANILA — Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has shot down down the suggestion of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III that the Philippines should rejoin the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Pimentel, in an interview with ANC’s “Headstart”, said rejoining the ICC would be beneficial to Filipinos, as they will be given again the opportunity to defend their rights through the “court of last resort”. 

Dela Rosa, however, claimed that the “court of last and final resort” is “heaven.”

“Kaniya-kanyang paniwala lang yan. I disagree with my colleague from Mindanao. For me the court of last and final resort is in heaven and in this physical world of ours the court of last resort is our Supreme Court,” Dela Rosa, in a text message, told ABS-CBN News.

Dela Rosa, who was Philippine National Police chief at the height of the drug war campaign of then President Rodrigo Duterte, has said that he will not cooperate with the ICC investigation.

He claimed that ICC prosecutors who want to investigate the previous administration have no jurisdiction over the country’s internal affairs.

Dela Rosa said he will only recognize a Philippine court investigation on the matter.

“Magtiwala lang sya (Pimentel) sa ating mga korte. There may be imperfections in it but it is our court and not a foreign court,” the senator said.

An ICC Pre-Trial Chamber in September last year authorized the ICC Office of the Prosecutor to launch its probe on the thousands of killings in connection with Duterte’s drug war.

The probe also covered the killings in Davao from 2011 to 2016 attributed to a death squad, which allegedly provided the template for the drug war.

The ICC probe was halted in November last year following a request by the Philippine government.

But the ICC Prosecutor in June this year asked for the resumption of the probe after finding that the Philippines has not investigated or is not investigating crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC.