'You can hang me,' Bato says if proven guilty by PH court, not ICC, over drug war deaths
Posted at Feb 04 2023 10:29 AM
MANILA — Former national police chief Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said Saturday that cases related to the deadly drug war of the Duterte administration should be filed in Philippine courts, not before the International Criminal Court.
Dela Rosa, the first to implement former President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign, made the statement after forensic pathologist Raquel Fortun said she is ready to present her fresh findings on drug war victims to the ICC, which is now resuming its probe into the drug war.
"Kung totoo 'yang findings ni Fortun, ipa-file. May NBI naman tayo nag-conduct ng investigation. I-file 'yan. Kaya nga nag-imbestiga siya para makakuha tayo ng ebidensiya. I-file niya dito sa ating korte, hindi doon sa ICC. Wala silang jurisdiction sa atin," Dela Rosa told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
"Puwede n'yo akong bitayin any time 'pag na-prove n'yo diyan na ako'y nagkakasala. You can hang me in front of the Filipino people. You can hang me through the decision of the Filipino courts. But my god, not by a foreigner," he added.
According to the ICC, Manila's efforts to investigate and prosecute the alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines were not satisfactory.
"Bakit? Nag-file ba si Fortun doon sa ICC? Kung doon ka sa ICC, para mong sinampal 'yung ating kasarinlan 'yung ating soberenya," the senator said.
"Bakit? Di ba gumagana ang ating korte?"
On Jan. 26, the ICC resumed its investigation into the bloody drug war and Davao Death Squad killings in the Philippines, saying Manila's efforts to investigate and prosecute the alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines were not satisfactory.
More than 6,000 drug suspects were killed in police operations in the country during Duterte’s term from 2016 to 2022, authorities said, citing official tallies.
Rights groups, however, estimate the figure could go as high as 30,000, including those who were killed by vigilantes and unknown perpetrators.
Duterte pulled the Philippines out of the ICC in 2019 after the Hague-based court began a preliminary investigation into the drug crackdown.
The ICC said it has jurisdiction over incidents in the Philippines during the period of the country's membership in the tribunal.
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