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Bato vows to protect Duterte, himself vs. ICC probe if he becomes president

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Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Tuesday vowed to protect President Rodrigo Duterte and himself from the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation if he wins president in 2022.

Both Duterte and Dela Rosa Dela Rosa were mentioned in the ICC pre-trial chamber’s 41-page decision authorizing the opening of a full investigation into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

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“Hindi lang si President Duterte ang protektahan ko pati sarili ko dahil dalawa kaming co-accused sa kaso na ‘yan, ‘di ba? So protektahan ko rin sarili ko,” Dela Rosa told ANC.

(I will not only protect President Duterte but also myself because we are both accused in that issue.)

A former Philippine National Police chief that implemented the campaign against illegal drugs, Dela Rosa also said he would allow ICC probers to enter the country but only to observe.

“To be frank with you, I will allow them to come in to the Philippines and observe for themselves. Pero to conduct investigation, eh sampal ‘yan sa ating judicial system, sampal yan sa ting SC, sa ating mga courts,” he ‘said.

(I will allow them to come to the Philippines and observe, but not to conduct an an investigation because that would be a slap to our judicial system.)

The intensified campaign against illegal drugs occurred after Duterte took office in June 2016. The governing document of the drug war was issued by Dela Rosa, Duterte’s first PNP chief.

Dela Rosa admitted that there were really rogue cops who abuse their power in operations but said the matter is being addressed by the police organization itself.

If he becomes the next president, Dela Rosa said he would require the use of body-worn cameras during anti-drug operations to ensure transparency.

Former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had requested the ICC to conduct a probe into the crimes committed in the Philippines between Nov. 1, 2011 in the context of the anti-drug campaign under the Duterte administration.

The ICC granted Bensouda’s request, adding that it would also probe the killings in Davao province between November 2011 to June 2016.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque had insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines. He also said Duterte would rather die than face the ICC’s investigation.

But despite this, Duterte himself said he would prepare his defense in the ICC probe once he steps down from office in 2022.

Government data showed that more than 6,000 were killed in the drug war, but international and local human rights groups claimed the death toll could reach over 20,000. —KBK, GMA News

Read more, click here: GMA News

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