By William Casis i FilAm Star Correspondent
Former PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who is poised to land a Senate seat, challenged his critics to go after him for the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) in the Duterte administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs.
“Bring it on, bring it on. Whatever they want, I will not run away,” said Dela in an interview over Channel 2’s ABS-CBN News Channel.
Dela Rosa, who also served as Director of the Bureau of Corrections before he quit to run for senator, was the top police officer when Duterte launched his campaign against illicit drug operations.
“Whatever, whatever, whenever,” said Dela Rosa when confronted with the possibility of being investigated by the Hague’s International Criminal Court (ICC) over what human rights activists described as summary killings.
Dela Rosa was among the respondents in crimes against humanity complaint filed by a Filipino lawyer with the ICC, a court of last resort.
The said court announced in February 2018 that it started a preliminary examination into the Philippine war on drugs. But Dela Rosa remained unperturbed and maintained that they were just doing their job.
After addressing the apparent bias of the ICC in handling the case, Duterte cancelled the Philippines’ membership in the ICC.
Dela Rosa is a first-time senator who was fifth in the winning circle based on the partial, unofficial tally.
He insisted that the more than 5,000 suspected drug dealers slain by the police in anti-narcotics operations had put up a fight.
“We have to protect ourselves; we have to defend ourselves,” pointed out Dela Rosa.
Meanwhile, responding to statement of Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch Carlos Conde, Dela Rosa told GMA News Online: “Let us pray that the bitterness in their hearts be flushed out. Nakailang Senate investigation na hindi pa sila nagsawa?”
In a blog post, Conde said Dela Rosa “may still have a date with justice.”
“Now that Dela Rosa is a policymaker, there is renewed urgency in bringing all those responsible for ‘drug war’ crimes to justice,” he said.