MANILA — Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa questioned Thursday the basis of the United Nations' top rights official in renewing calls for accountability in the Philippines' anti-narcotics war that he once led.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet last week asked Manila to support "international accountability measures" on 25,000 alleged deaths under the drug war supposedly carried out "without due regard for the rule of law, due process and the human rights of people."
"Sino siya para magsabi nang ganoon dito sa atin? Nakapunta na ba siya dito, naobserbahan ba niya kung ano'ng nangyayari dito?" said Dela Rosa, a former chief of the national police.
"Ang binabasehan lang niya ay iyong report na ridiculous at preposterous na report na ginagawa ng ating mga kababayan," he told ANC.
(Who is she to say that about us? Has she ever been here, has she observed what is happening here? She's basing her report off the ridiculous and preposterous report made by our compatriots.)
Launched by President Rodrigo Duterte after winning the 2016 election on a platform of crushing crime, the drugs crackdown has left dead 8,663 people, according to a report by Bachelet's office, citing government data.
The campaign has been linked to the deaths of 73 children, including 17-year-old Kian delos Santos – where 3 police officers were convicted, the UN human rights office added.
"If you do not trust PNP numbers, dissolve the PNP. If you do not trust the government, tanggalin ang gobyerno (remove the goverment). Let the human rights sila ang mag-rule sa ating bansa," said Dela Rosa.
The first-term senator said he would "welcome" any representative that the UN could send to assess the drug campaign. "But it's not for me to decide. It's an executive decision," he added.
With a report from Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News