I would not allow drug syndicates and organized crime groups to destroy the young generation of the country
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday reiterated his promise to finish his campaign against illegal drugs until his last day in Malacanang, with or without investigations initiated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other human rights groups.
“The drugs. Whether human rights will believe or not, it is not my business to do with their biddings. I have a duty to perform and worse, I made it a solemn promise,” Duterte said in his speech during the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
“So the war against drugs will continue with or without the ICC, with or without the human rights (groups), with or without the politicians. It will last until the last day of my term as President,” he added.
Duterte said he would not allow drug syndicates and organized crime groups to destroy the young generation of the country.
“Do not destroy it because I will kill you. Do not put to naught my toil and destroy the young of my country because I will really kill you,” he said.
In a separate speech he delivered during the oath taking rites of Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) officials at Malacanang Palace, Duterte said ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda “cannot acquire jurisdiction over me, not in a million years.”
“That’s why I’m not answering. That’s true. I don’t want to say that has always been my weapon ever since. Don’t believe them. They cannot ever, ever hope to acquire jurisdiction over my person,” he said.
Last month, Malacanang announced that the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC will start its preliminary investigation on the alleged extrajudicial killings linked to the government’s anti-drugs campaign.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, clarified that the preliminary examination only aims to collect and verify information to determine if there is “reasonable basis” to go on with a preliminary investigation.
Roque has defended the government’s war on drugs, saying it is a lawful and legitimate police operation that “cannot be characterized as an attack against civilian populations.”
“It is a lawful use of force and therefore, we submit likewise on the merits the element of directing an attack against civilian populations is simply lacking,” Roque said in a previous media briefing.
Aside from the ICC, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard has also expressed willingness to investigate deaths linked to campaign against illegal drugs.
Roque, however, had said Callamard has no credibility to investigate because the UN Special Rapporteur had already prejudged the government’s anti-narcotics campaign. (PNA)
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Who does not want to be senator?, thus said controversial Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa when asked if he may run for senator after his retirement.
On DZMM Teleradyo on Thursday, April 11, Bato said he is open to the idea of taking a crack at a Senate seat in the 2019 midterm elections.
Bato has become the most controversial figure in the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, largely due to his role in the highly-criticized anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The Duterte administration is accused by human rights groups as behind the thousands of extra-judicial killings of drug suspects sent to bloody deaths as soon as President Duterte took office last year.
Human rights groups – including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the US-based Human Rights Watch and the European Union Parliament, among others – allege that the Philippine police is behind the extrajudicial killings, and Bato is at the center of legislative inquiries, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, looking into the bloodbath
I am not plastic Who does not want to be a senator? I am not directly saying I am going to run. But that is nice, I can help the nation more. Why not?, said Bato who spoke in Pilipino in the interview.
Bato, who is to retire from government service in January next year, said jumping into politics is an option.
The Davao-born PNP chief whose nickname means “stone,” said this option includes facing mudslinging in the event he would run for senator.
I am open to demolition jobs, including from those running for senators who will find ways to destroy me, he said.
Bato said his option to run for senator in the 2019 elections, will have no bearing in his present job.
Critics, from the ranks of the human rights groups, civil society and the Catholic Church, have made a virtual punching bag out of the PNP chief for his role in President Duterte’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
I am not trying to please anyone. If there is a job to be done, I will do it, said Bato.
Another option he is considering after his retirement is a Cabinet post in the Duterte administration.
If President Duterte still needs my services, I am still healthy, he said. In his early years in the police service, Bato once served as chief of the Davao City Police Office under then Davao City Mayor Duterte.
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