MANILA, Philippines—“Wala akong kaba. Walakong pakialam”. (I’m not nervous. I don’t care.)
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa repeatedly made his position clear Tuesday ahead of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Appeals Chamber’s ruling on the Philippine government’s appeal to halt the continuation of its investigation into the murders. of the “war on drugs” during the president’s administration. Rodrigo Duterte.
Dela Rosa also said that, like himself, the steadfast former President Duterte remains unconcerned about the impending ICC decision.
READ: The ICC resumes the full investigation of Duterte’s war on drugs
“Bahala sila kung ano ang gusto nila… Ok lang ako, whatever, whatever anong kalabasan niyan,” the senator also said during a phone interview with reporters.
(It’s up to them what they want… I’m fine, whatever, whatever the outcome of that).
As head of the Philippine National Police during the Duterte administration, dela Rosa led the country’s brutal drug war that resulted in the deaths of thousands of drug suspects.
Duterte and dela Rosa were among those charged in the complaint for crimes against humanity before the ICC.
“Ah hindi nga sya (Duterte) upset kasi hindi naman tayo my member,” dela Rosa told reporters, revealing that he was also able to speak with Duterte. (He is not upset because we are a member [of the ICC].)
“Whatever investigation of nga anong kalabasan nang ginagawa nilang, and magic resolution dyan sa complaint against us ay hindi naman ‘yan ma e-enforce sa atin dahil no one will enforce ‘di ba?”
(Whatever the result of the investigation they did, What will be the resolution of the complaint against us, that we will not enforce it because nobody is going to enforce it, right?)
For this reason, when the Secretary of Justice, Jesús Crispín Remulla, reiterated the government’s opposition to an investigation by the international court, the senator was not surprised.
In defiance, Remula said the government would not bow to the ICC, even in the face of a possible revival of the drug war investigation and the subsequent issuance of arrest warrants for the defendants.
READ: The ICC “is not welcome” if it promotes an investigation into the war on drugs
Dela Rosa echoed Remulla’s opinion.
“Hindi naman talaga dahil, this government is not bound by any decision whatever the resolution of the case. Wala na, wala ng pakiaalam dahil hindi naman tayo my member. We are not obligated,” he emphasized when told about Remulla’s statement that the government would not issue any arrest warrants, even if ordered by the ICC.
(They really couldn’t [enforce a warrant of arrest] because this government is not bound by any decision, whatever the consequent resolution of the case. No more worries because we are not members. We are not obligated.)
Duterte declared the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statutethe treaty that established the ICC, in March 2018, but only entered into force a year later or in March 2019.
Despite the withdrawal, the ICC retained jurisdiction over alleged crimes in the Philippines, from November 1, 2011, to March 16, 2019, while the country was still a state party.
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