‘Nakakalungkot din’: Hontiveros reacts to Dela Rosa’s emotions on ICC probe filing

November 30, 2023 - 12:42 PM
Composite photo of Senators Risa Hontiveros and Bato dela Rosa (hontiverosrisa, senateph/Facebook)

Senator Risa Hontiveros was spotted speaking to her colleague Senator Bato dela Rosa after a Senate session on Tuesday, November 28.

Dela Rosa earlier expressed how upset he was at his colleague after she filed a resolution urging the national government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC)‘s probe into the previous administration’s drug war.

GMA News later reported a video showing Hontiveros who approached Dela Rosa by his seat and talked to him for a few minutes during the deliberations.

What they talked about, however, could not be heard in the video.

In a press briefing, Dela Rosa ranted about how hurt and upset he was that Hontiveros would make the move to file a resolution supporting the ICC.

“Knowing her, expected ko na yan. Pero kahit expected ko na, masama pa rin loob ko,” he said.

“Hindi ako plastic na tao. Ayokong makipagplastikan, when I say masama ang loob ko, sasabihin ko talaga—masama ang loob ko sayo,” he further expressed to reporters.

Dela Rosa and Hontiveros’ late husband were mistahs or schoolmates in the Philippine Military Academy.

The former also said that he and the senator were also close friends.

‘Bigger than the Senate’

In an interview with ANC News later that day, Hontiveros was also asked about her response to Dela Rosa’s reaction to her move to file a resolution, citing the latter’s close ties with her late husband.

Here, the lawmaker said that she was not “completely” surprised by it. Rather, she was saddened.

“Not completely [surprised], bagamat syempre, nakakalungkot din,” she said.

Hontiveros also said that the ICC probe is “bigger” than the Senate.

“This is really bigger than any one of us in the Senate. Hindi po ito tungkol sa kanya lang o sa akin lamang o kahit sino sa amin. Higit sa lahat, this is about the thousands of widows and orphans of the extrajudicial killings during the war on drugs,” she said.

The human rights lawyer advocate also emphasized that the drug war investigation is about the victims and the “accountability of the government” to them.

“The Philippine National Police itself said it documented about 6,000 of these killings. Ayon naman sa human rights organizations, maaaring umabot ito sa 30,000 EJK victims at mga pamilya nila,” Hontiveros said.

“It’s really about them and the accountability of the government or the state to them. At least pitong taon ng huminging ng hustisya itong widows and orphans ng war on drugs,” she added.

Several Filipinos, meanwhile, lauded Hontiveros for her professionalism in her job following her approach to Dela Rosa.

“Trabaho lang walang personalan. Ganun naman talaga dapat lalo na public servant,” an X user said.

“Bayan muna bago ang kaibigan. Saludo po ako sayo, Sen. @risahontiveros,” an X user commented.

“Malambing sa salita, matapang sa gawa,” another X user reacted.

Aside from Hontiveros, two committees of the House of Representatives approved and consolidated resolutions encouraging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to allow the Philippines to cooperate with the ICC.

READ: House panels OK resolutions for Philippines cooperation with ICC 

Dela Rosa, back when he was the PNP chief, was the main enforcer of this campaign against illegal drugs, which mostly affected poor families in the country.