President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterated his confidence in Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa as the new leader of the country’s police force. During the change of command at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City, the President expressed his support for Dela Rosa, who carries a track record of excellence.
“In selecting the PNP Director General and these sensitive positions that have something to do with the enforcement of laws and the punitive actions that are available in that office, most of those I have appointed were former police directors of the City of Davao,” Duterte said.
He added “these are the guys who went through their careers passing by Davao, and these are the only guys that I knew and I have worked closely and had the time to observe their character and integrity.”
Speaking before the members of the diplomatic corps, other police officers, and their family members, Duterte said he told Dela Rosa “huwag tayong mapahiya sa Pilipino” (let’s not disappoint the Filipinos). He likewise assured the PNP chief that “I will protect you in all of your undertakings and adventures. As a law enforcement guy, I will be there to protect you. I will provide you the funds. I will provide the weapons needed to fight criminality, particularly drugs.”
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986, Dela Rosa is the first member of the class to get the four-star rank, the most number of stars in the organization. He and the President go back a long way and have similar advocacy, working hand in hand in making Davao City peaceful.
As the nation’s top cop, Dela Rosa will be the law enforcement component of Duterte’s war on criminality, drugs and corruption. Like a father ordering his son to do good, the President performed gestures such as dusting Dela Rosa’s Pershing cap and uniform while whispering words that made the PNP chief chuckle.
In his acceptance speech, Dela Rosa introduced his family and made special mention of his mother, who could hardly put him through school. He said, “Nay, hindi mo ako mapag-aral noon kasi walang pambaon pero 4-star general na ako ngayon!” (Mom, you could not put me through school because I had no “baon” but now, I’m a 4-star general)
The PNP chief added,” If Mayor Duterte’s presidency is destiny, then my becoming the Chief PNP is also destiny which only God can make possible. So I think this as a God-given mission–to become President Duterte’s right hand man in his fight against drugs, criminality, and corruption in order to provide each and every Filipino a safe, secure, and comfortable life.”
General Dela Rosa said, “to our beloved President, words are not enough to express my gratitude for your unwavering trust and confidence in me. I pledge to you our endless and unquestionable loyalty. Being the Chief PNP comes only once so I better give it my all and give it my best shot. I will not fail you! Itotodo ko na ito (I’ll do my very best) and I swear I will not fail you, Mr. President.”
Dela Rosa considers himself a father who rules by way of reward and punishment. “It is either you are with me or you are not with me. If you are with me then, let’s do it but if you are not with me, then you are finished!”
Known for his staunch anti-crime stance, he warned criminals in jest, “I will change your birthday to November 2! Bilang na ang araw ninyo! (Your days are numbered).