MANILA - Presidential candidate Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa on Tuesday lashed back at broadcaster and senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo for calling the war on drugs a failure.
"Noon hangang-hanga siya sa drug war. Ngayon failure na. Sino siya para magjudge na failure ang drug war? Siguro yung mga taong nagsasabi na failure ang drug war, ito yung mga tao na nakatira sa gated community, posh subdivisions, very safe sila sa pamumuhay doon dahil guwardiyado sila," he said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.
(Before he was amazed by the drug war, now it's a failure to him. Who is he to judge that the drug war was a failure? People who say the drug war is a failure are people who live in gated communities, posh subdivisions, and are very safe because they're surrounded by guards.)
He also denied that no big-time personalities involved in drugs have been caught by authorities.
"Ano pala ang mga Intsik na napatay dyan? Mga mayor na namatay, mga congressman na tinamaan sa war on drugs?" he said.
(Then what about the Chinese who have been killed? Mayors, congressmen killed under the war on drugs?)
"It only goes to show they're ignorant about the real situation of the drug problem sa Pilipinas (in the Philippines)."
Tulfo earlier said it was President Duterte himself who admitted that the war on drugs is a failure.
"Definitely a failure, siya (Duterte) mismo umamin niyan kasi sinabi niya in 6 months’ time masosolve niya na ang problema sa drugs then lately siya mismo umamin na di ko pala kaya, kala ko kaya," he said.
(It's definitely a failure, the President even admitted it because he said in 6 months' time he would solve the country's problem on drugs then lately he himself said he could not do it.)
He said he would focus on rehabilitation of drug addicts if he is elected senator.
"Magopen tayo ng rehabilitation centers...Pag nawala na itong mga addict, na-rehab na sila, then meron yung tinatawag na law of supply and demand. Wala nang nagdedemand, bababa na ang supply," he said.
(Let's open rehabilitation centers...If drug addicts are rehabilitated then it will lower demand, and later supply.)
PROTECT PRESIDENT DUTERTE
In the interview, Dela Rosa said he would protect himself and President Rodrigo Duterte from the International Criminal Court if he wins in next year's elections.
The senator and Duterte are facing accusations of crimes against humanity before the ICC for alleged extrajudicial killings under the drug war and during the latter's mayoralty in Davao.
Dela Rosa, architect of the drug war, had served as the director of the Davao City Police prior to his stint as chief of the Philippine National Police.
"Di lang si President Duterte ang proprotektahan ko pati sarili ko dahil 2 kaming co-accused sa kaso na yan diba?" he told ANC's Headstart.
(I will not only protect President Duterte but also myself because we're co-accused in that case right?)
"I will allow them to come in the Philippines and observe for themselves pero to conduct investigation sampal yan sa ating judicial system, sampal yan sa ating Supreme Court, sa ating courts. Our judicial system is perfectly functioning bakit sila makikialam dito."
(I will allow them to come in the Philippines and observe for themselves but to allow them to conduct investigation would be a slap to our judicial system, the Supreme Court, and our courts. Our judicial system is perfectly functioning why would they meddle?)
Authorities had placed the drug war's death toll at over 7,000, but human rights groups believe there could be thousands more.
Authorities said suspects slain in drug operations had violently resisted arrest, prompting police to defend themselves. But critics believe the state is behind cases of summary killings.
Duterte had repeatedly defended the killing of drug pushers, saying they destroy the country's youth and future.
Dela Rosa said if he was elected president, he would require all policemen conducting anti-drug operations to wear body cameras, the practice of which has begun.