Capital punishment in the Philippines was outlawed in 1987 and reintroduced six years later, before being abolished again in 2006. The ICC does not use the death penalty.
Dela Rosa, who retired as police chief in 2018 with hero’s honors, was named by ICC judges in their decision to authorize an investigation after finding the anti-drug crackdown could be a crime against humanity.
Some of the campaign’s most well-known abuses happened on Dela Rosa’s watch, including the 2017 killing of teenager Kian delos Santos that led to the first convictions of police officers carrying out the drug war.
Dela Rosa defended the country’s criminal justice system, saying there was no need to prove to the world that it was working.
In any case, he said: “I would rather have a criminal justice system run like hell by Filipino judges, rather than a criminal justice (system) run like heaven by foreign judges.”