‘I should be ready’: Dela Rosa on possible return of PH to ICC
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he feels like he should be “ready for any eventuality” following President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s disclosure that the Philippine government is studying the possibility of returning under the fold of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Dela Rosa, who was the chief implementer of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, is among those mentioned in the crimes against humanity complaint before the ICC.
“I feel that I should be ready for any eventuality because the political situation in the Philippines is very fluid, so I have to be ready,” Dela Rosa told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) on Friday.
Asked what he’s preparing himself for, he answered: Ready to fire [and] ready to speak.
“As I’ve said, I am willing to face Filipino courts. I am willing to be tried by Filipino courts. But by a foreign body, I am not willing,” said the senator.
He, however, stressed that it is not an indication that he will evade the law.
“Baka sabihin niyo sisibat na si Bato, hindi ako lalayas. Pag sinabi ng ating gobyerno, sinabi ng ating korte: Bato harapin mo yan, dito ka sa amin humarap — then haharap ako, harapin ko yan,” he said.
(You’ll probably say that I will escape, I will not leave. If the government or our court says: Bato, face it. Face us – then I will face them.)
Dela Rosa likewise noted that the President is the chief architect of foreign relations, hence, it is within his discretion to allow or disallow the entry of ICC in the Philippines.
Further prodded if he considers this as “backpedalling,” Dela Rosa answered: “If the President says categorically that he is allowing ICC to come in and make the investigations, then that’s backpedalling, but when he says just studying – maybe there are a lot of possibilities when he says study.”