FORMER Philippine National Police chief-turned Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa yesterday said he would have his head cut off if the United Nations Commission on Human Rights will be able to prove state-sponsored killings stemmed from the government’s three-year-old war on drugs.
“I will have my head cut off if this is state-sponsored. You come here and cut my head off if this is State-sponsored, yung alleged EJKs na sinasabi ninyo. Come down and cut my head... tapos ang usapan, ganon lang,” he told a press conference at Camp Crame where he was guest of honor and speaker during the 2nd founding anniversary of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group.
The former PNP chief said he is ready to face his accusers in any forum. “Wala tayong tinatago, ready tayo para malaman nila na niloloko lang sila. 27,000 deaths daw pero 6,600 lang, yung numbers nila eh sinama na pati yung mga victims ng vehicular accidents, yung mga me sakit sa puso atbp” he said.
The neophyte administration senator made his statement a day after the UNHRC passed a resolution which seeks to investigate killings in the country as a result of President Duterte’s war on drugs.
Sen. dela Rosa also pointed out that if the war on drugs is really not beneficial to the country, Filipinos would not have elected him as a lawmaker.
“Kung talagang masama ang war on drugs ng Pilipinas, bakit ninyo ako pinapanalo na senador? Ginawa ninyo akong number five. Ganon lang... Kung masama talaga ang ginagawa namin, if you claim that I am the face of the war on drugs, bakit ninyo ko pinapanalo?” said the senator who became the first PNP chief of President Duterte tasked to implement the government’s crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
Sen. dela Rosa also said that Filipino citizens know “best” compared to other people that want to look into the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign. “The Filipino people know best compared to the Europeans. Mas alam ng Pilipino ang nangyayari sa Pilipinas kaysa sa mga Europeans na ‘yan,” he said.
“Wala akong kinatatakutan provided they will investigate with an open mind. Isa-isahin nila yung 27,000 killings na sinasabi nila. I challenge them to produce those supposed 27,000 killings one by one, individually, isa-isahin yung 27,000 na yan,” he said.
According to the senator, it is apparent that the foreign countries are being misled, being “given wrong numbers” by their sources. “We don’t condone abuses here, we have our internal cleansing program,” he said in referring to the number of policemen who have been fired from the service or suspended and jailed as a result of their illegal activities.
PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde echoed his predecessor’s statement and said that they want a list of those 27,000 deaths being reported by the UN. “We have our own laws and Constitution, human rights in protected by the Constitution. Sarili nga naming pulis kinakasuhan naming and we have a CHR which is perfectly working,” he said.
“But show us the list and we will gladly investigate,” he said.
Meanwhile President Rodrigo Duterte said that he may consider allowing the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the human rights situation in the country.
“Let them state their purpose and I will review. Kung dagdag lang sila sa intriga [If they’ll just add to the intrigue], they better go to the media. And the media will tell them the truth,” he told reporters Thursday in Malacanang.
Malacañang yesterday slammed the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution seeking an investigation on President Duterte’s war on drugs, saying it was an affront to the country’s sovereignty and designed to embarrass the Philippines before the international community.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government objects and condemns the Iceland-led resolution backed by 17 other countries during the 41st session of the UNHRC in Geneva, “the same being based on false information and unverified facts and figures.”
“The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan. It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country, even as it is bereft of the gruesome realities of the drug menace in the country,” he said.
“Evidently, the resolution was designed to embarrass the Philippines before the international community and the global audience.”
Panelo said the resolution was “offensive” and “insulting” to the majority of Filipinos who support Duterte’s “unique” leadership style.
Like Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Panelo also questioned the propriety and validity of the resolution.
The Palace official said not only it was not unanimously adopted, but it did not even get a simple majority of the 47 member countries of the UNHRC, of which the Philippines is a member.
“The voting is not decisive in its favor. Only 18 countries out of the 47 member-countries voted for the resolution. A simple majority would have been 24. This means that majority of the members are not really convinced of the resolution calling for the investigation of the so-called extrajudicial killings in our country,” he said.
“The other 17 countries of the resolution certainly have been misled by Iceland, which in turn was led astray by the continuing and relentless false news, published by a few biased media in the country and elsewhere.”
Opposition senators hailed the UNHRC move to conduct a review into the human rights situation in the Philippines and appealed to the government to cooperate.
For her part, Senator Leila de Lima said the resolution would be a clear signal to President Rodrigo Duterte that truth and justice will prevail.
“The UNHRC Resolution is a welcome step – a jumpstart, indeed – in our people’s search for accountability for the ongoing mass murder and other gross human rights violations in the Philippines under Rodrigo Duterte,” De Lima said.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon urged the government not to impute malice in the action of the UNHRC, of which the Philippines is among the founding members.
Drilon stressed that the government is legally mandated to honor the country’s treaty obligations.
PNP chief Albayalde yesterday raised the possibility that the Communist Party of the Philippines has a hand in another UNHRC resolution calling for a probe into alleged extra-judicial killings in the country.
“That’s possible. It’s because that’s part of propaganda also, yung CPP-NPA is so against the Duterte administration now, so pwede,” the PNP chief said amid fears that the planned UN mission will be similar to the Philip Alston group which made a lopsided report on alleged human rights violations in the country during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration.
Gen. Albayalde said that the CPP has contacts and connections abroad particularly in the European community which may be giving some foreign governments “wrong and bloated” figures in the Duterte government’s war on drugs.
According to him, the CPP would not have reached its 50th founding anniversary last December if it did not have these contacts. Security officials have particularly tagged self-exiled CPP chairman Jose Ma. Sison as among those leading a plot to unseat the current administration.