Dela Rosa insists Phl justice system is ‘working’

Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa attends the deliberations to extend Martial Law in Mindanao at the session hall of the House of Representatives in Manila on December 13, 2017. – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won martial law powers across the southern third of the country for one more year to combat Islamic militants and leftist rebels, as Congress brushed aside fears of a looming dictatorship. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)

6 days ago

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Wednesday, 3 August reiterated that the justice system in the country is “working,” adding that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should not be allowed to interfere in internal affairs. 

Dela Rosa, who described himself as the “number 2 accused” in the investigation of the ICC on the anti-illegal drug campaign of former President Rodrigo Duterte that resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, also said he was happy with the decision of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not to rejoin the Hague-based court.

“Again being accused number 2 here in the cases of the ICC, I am happy that the president is fighting for sovereignty as a nation. He will not allow the ICC to enter the country easily,” he said in a televised interview.

“Why would they insist on entering the country if we have a working judicial system, again as I’ve said they cannot just acquire jurisdiction in our country as long as our courts are alive and functioning,” he added. 

The lawmaker is referring to the statement made by Marcos that he has “no intentions” of rejoining the ICC. 

Prepare for defense

Dela Rosa said he would have to prepare for his defense should the international body decide to proceed with its investigation.

“I have to defend myself if they would really conduct an investigation and the government allowed them to enter the country to do it,” he said.

“Again, it is up to the Malacañang if they would allow it, if not, then I have no problem. If they do, then I have to defend myself. I have to prepare myself for the defense,” he added.

Dela Rosa served as the head of the Philippine National Police in 2016, and led the anti-narcotics campaign of the Duterte administration — the controversial “Oplan Tokhang.”

The police-turned-lawmaker also admitted that he still has yet to choose lawyers for this case, adding that he believes that the investigation would not progress.

“I am confident that it will not progress because first, I don’t see any crimes against humanity happening here in the Philippines. We do not have crimes against humanity here,” he said.

“I hope that ICC will respect our sovereignty through the observance of article no. 1 — the principle of complementarity. Courts in the country are alive and kicking, why would they interfere?” he added.

Dela Rosa also said he does not see the necessity of rejoining the ICC, citing that other countries like the United States, Russia, and China are also not members of the ICC.

“As I have said yesterday, if the US, Russia, China, Israel, and other countries refuse to join ICC, then I don’t see any compelling reason for us to rejoin and allow them to meddle in our internal affairs. That is tantamount to surrendering our sovereignty as a nation to them,” he said.

On 18 July, the ICC asked the Philippines to provide comments on its request to reopen the investigation into the Duterte administration’s bloody anti-drug war campaign.

Based on government data, there were less than 7,000 people killed under Duterte’s war against illegal drugs, and most of them were from poor families. 

However, both local and international human rights organizations believe that the drug war claimed more lives than these figures. 

 


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