Unfazed Bato dela Rosa, Rodrigo Duterte on looming ICC ruling: ‘Walang kaba, walang pakialam’
MANILA, Philippines— “Wala akong kaba. Wala akong pakialam.” (I’m not nervous. I do not care.)
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa repeatedly made his position clear on Tuesday ahead of the International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals chamber ruling on the Philippine government’s appeal to halt the continuation of its investigation into the “drug war” killings during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Dela Rosa also said that, like himself, the unshakable former President Rodrigo Duterte remains unbothered by the looming decision of the ICC.
“Bahala sila kung ano ang gusto nila… Ok lang ako, whatever, whatever anong kalabasan niyan,” the senator likewise said during a phone interview with reporters.
(It’s up to them whatever they want… I’m just OK, whatever, whatever the outcome of that.)
As the head of the Philippine National Police during the Duterte administration, dela Rosa spearheaded the brutal war on drugs in the country that resulted in the killing of thousands of drug suspects.
Duterte and dela Rosa were among the accused in the crimes against humanity complaint before the ICC.
“Ah hindi nga sya (Duterte) bothered kasi hindi naman tayo miyembro,” dela Rosa told reporters as he revealed that he was also able to talk to Duterte. (He is not bothered because we are not a member [of the ICC].)
“Whatever nga anong kalabasan nang ginagawa nilang investigation, ano magiging resolution dyan sa complaint against us ay hindi naman ‘yan ma e-enforce sa atin dahil nobody will enforce it ‘di ba?”
(Whatever the outcome of the investigation they did, what will be the resolution of the complaint against us, that will not be enforced by us because nobody will enforce it, right?)
So, when Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla restated the government’s opposition to an investigation by the international tribunal, the senator was not surprised.
In defiance, Remula said the government would not bend to the ICC, even in the face of a potential revival of the drug war investigation and the subsequent issuance of arrest warrants against the accused.
Dela Rosa echoed Remulla’s opinion.
“Hindi naman talaga dahil this government is not bound by whatever decision, whatever resolution of the case will come out. Wala na, wala ng pakiaalam dahil hindi naman tayo miyembro. We are not bound,” he stressed when told about Remulla’s statement that the government would not issue any warrant of arrest even if ordered by the ICC.
(They could not really [enforce a warrant of arrest] because this government is not bound by whatever decision, whatever consequent resolution of the case. No more no worries because we are not members. We are not bound.)
Duterte declared the Philippines’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, in March 2018, but it only took effect a year after or on 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.