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Bato says rehab should be made mandatory for drug users

VIGAN CITY — Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa wants charges filed against drug users who will refuse to undergo rehabilitation, which he wants to be made mandatory.

Dela Rosa, who is running for senator in the May 13 elections, was the PNP chief when the Duterte administration launched its drug war that human rights groups criticized for its high death toll, numbering into the thousands in three years.

Believing that drug traffickers should be meted with the death penalty, Dela Rosa said, "Ang ipinaglalaban ko po rito, buhay. Kasi maraming nasisirang buhay dahil sa illegal drugs."

"Dapat mandatory ang pagpapa-rehab," he said in a campaign sortie here. "Kung hindi ka papa-rehab, may kaso ka."

The erstwhile national police chief is running under Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional party formed by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, the president's daughter, for the upcoming elections.

During a recent debate hosted by GMA News and Public Affairs, Dela Rosa said the families of those who lost their loved ones due to war on drugs will ultimately get  justice from God, not man.

"Yung internal cleansing po ng PNP, tuloy tuloy po iyan, gumagana po ang criminal justice system natin. Ang advice ko po sa kanila [na mga namatayan]….kung hindi niyo po makuha ang hustisya rito, makukuha niyo po ang hustisya sa langit,” he said.

"Mananagot po ang may sala sa Poong Maykapal."

In November 2018, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares and Police Officers 1 Jeremias Pereda, and Jerwin Cruz were convicted by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court for the murder of teenager Kian delos Santos.

These policemen initially claimed that Delos Santos was selling drugs and resisted arrest, by CCTV footage showed Delos Santos being dragged by the police to a dark alley where he was shot.

The International Criminal Court has already been conducting a preliminary examination on President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly committing crimes against humanity for the thousands of deaths in his anti-drug campaign.

The ICC's conduct of preliminary examination stems from a complaint filed by lawyer Jude Sabio in May 2017. —KBK, GMA News