Bato Dela Rosa
A former Davao City police before becoming the country’s top cop, Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa helped President Rodrigo Duterte — a former city mayor — bringing Davao City's brutal narcotics crackdown to the national level.
The STAR/Edd Gumban

'Another Duterte' needed to continue 'drug war,' Bato says

Franco Luna ( - January 5, 2020 - 3:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald dela Rosa believes another Duterte should be the next president as other politicians may not achieve the results that he said President Rodrigo Duterte has. 

The former PNP chief, who initially led the president's bloody campaign against illegal drugs, and was director general of the national police when, in 2017, a 17-year-old boy was killed by Caloocan City cops who claimed he was a drug runner. 

The former police official praised the administration's progress and said these have to be sustained.

Dela Rosa said in a radio interview that the government is "running out of time" and that "maybe we need another Duterte to continue the work."

READ: Dela Rosa, architect of Duterte’s deadly drug war, secures a Senate seat 

Lobbying and political campaigns management firm PUBLiCUS released results of a survey in December where it said 35% of respondents picked Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in a list of 21 potential candidates for president.

"If you speak of possibilities, then it’s limitless. Everything’s possible," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said then, when asked about the possibility of Duterte running for vice president alongside his daughter, said:

"We have to do concrete actions right now otherwise we are going to the dogs. Ang ating bansa magiging narco state tayo. Baka mamaya ang PNP na ang aatras sa armadong drug lords gaya sa Mexico," Dela Rosa said. 

"Huwag natin hintayin na ganun. Dahil malapit na talaga tayo kung di naging presidente si Pangulong Duterte."

(Our country might become a narco state. The PNP might retreat from a fight with heavily-armed drug lords like what is happening in Mexico. We should not wait for such an eventuality. We might have been a narco state if President Duterte was not elected.)

READ: Duterte’s drug war running out of time – Bato

Dela Rosa was echoing Duterte's rhetoric in 2017 that the country was well on its way to becoming a "narco-state" if it wasn't already. 

Vice President Leni Robredo, shortly after her removal from the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, pointed out that the administration used faulty and often conflicting statistics to back up their claims. 

“Ngayong hapon, naging klaro iyon na iyong mga numerong iyon hindi din klaro. Iyong 1.8 [million] ang pakiramdam, not just DDB but also the other members of the ICAD. Ang pakiramdam, parang iyong integrity ng numbers hindi masyadong puwedeng pagkatiwalaan kasi iyong, parang iyong circumstances, iyong sample size, iyong lahat iba naman,” Robredo said on November 8.

(This afternoon, it became clear that, not just the Dangerous Drugs Board but also the members of the ICAD feel the 1.8 million figure is unclear. The sentiment is there is not much confidence in the integrity of the numbers because of the different circumstances and sample size used.)

Dela Rosa is a staunch Duterte ally and now chairs the public order and dangerous drugs committee. 

RELATED: The War on Drugs: In-depth reports and analyses on the government's bloody anti-narcotics campaign

Three years into Duterte's presidency, the "drug war", which human rights groups say have killed as many as 27,000 people, 55% of the country's barangays being declared cleared of illegal drugs.

Government data acknowledges more than 5,500 "drug personalities" killed in law enforcement operations. Authorities say all of those who died had shot it out with police.

During his electoral campaign in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte promised to deal with the country's drug problem within six months of his inauguration. 

He asked for multiple extensions after the first six months. 

READ: Duterte's offer for Leni not an admission that drug war failed — Panelo

"Marami naman dyan bigyan lang ng chance pero di natin alam kung kasing tapang niya; iba kasi si Pangulong Duterte. Kahit may guided missile tatama sa sasakyan niya, wala sya pakialam basta gawin nya trabaho nya," Dela Rosa said during a radio interview. 

(There are many out there who could wage war against illegal drugs. We will give them a chance but we don’t know if they are as brave as President Duterte. He will continue his fight even if a guided missile hits his car. He does not care. He will fight on.)

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