Bato Dela Rosa, former 'drug war' chief implementer, is admin’s presidential bet

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:12 p.m.) — Less than an hour before the deadline for filing candidacy, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has surfaced as the standard-bearer of the administration-led faction of the PDP-Laban party. 

The faction of PDP-Laban backed by President Rodrigo Duterte has struggled to find a replacement for Sen. Bong Go, who declined its nomination for president and chose to run as vice president under the party instead.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was also expected to seek the presidency after topping preferential surveys but filed her candidacy for reelection instead under Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the party she founded. 

Although he is PDP-Laban's presidential candidate, Dela Rosa filed his candidacy at the Sofitel tent in Pasay City wearing an HNP shirt.

Asked if the Davao mayor would take his place and enter the presidential race last minute as her father did in 2015, Dela Rosa said: "Hindi (No), I don't know how we will do it if ganun (that way)." 

He said he was running to continue the administration's fight against illegal drugs, corruption and terrorism. 

Dela Rosa, a former police chief, is known for his bloody implementation of the Duterte administration's flagship campaign against illegal drugs. 

He was police chief of Davao City from 2012-2013 under Duterte-Carpio (2010-2013) and Duterte (2013-2016). 

Dela Rosa was appointed top cop by President Duterte in 2016 and served until 2019.

He sought election to the Senate in 2019 and won along with other close allies of the president. 

As a lawmaker, Dela Rosa co-authored the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, a widely opposed measure that petitioners before the Supreme Court say has potential for abuse and could be used to silence legitimate dissent and criticism.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 2, 2022 - 12:03pm

Follow this thread for updates on the aspirants for local and national posts in the May 2022 elections. — Main photo by The STAR/Boy Santos

May 2, 2022 - 12:03pm

Former senator Bongbong Marcos, with 56%, maintains his lead in the Pulse Asia pre-election survey conducted from April 16 to 21.

Vice President Leni Robredo ranks second with 23% followed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with 7%.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno ranks fourth with 4% and Sen. Ping Lacson is in fifth place with 2%.

February 13, 2022 - 4:12pm

The latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey shows that former senator Bongbong Marcos remains the top choice of 60% of Filipinos for president.

Vice President Leni Robredo ranks second with 16%, followed by boxer-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with 8% each.

Sen. Ping Lacson is in the fifth place with 4%. The poll was conducted from January 19 to 24 using face-to-face interviews.

February 8, 2022 - 8:27am

Larry Gadon, a candidate for senator, is accused of violating Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act after he was seen in a viral video cursing at a journalist, according to a report by ABS-CBN.

The complaints, which include libel and cyberlibel charges, were filed by freelance investigative journalist Raissa Robles. Gadon had accused her of spreading fake news in a separate video.

The Supreme Court last month suspended Gadon for profanities he hurled at Robles in the earlier video.

January 30, 2022 - 11:26am

Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan will hold their proclamation rally in Naga City, Camarines Sur on February 8, campaign manager Erin Tanada says.

Tanada adds that the opposition camp will also hold proclamation rallies in different areas in Bicol region on from February 8 to 9.

All 12 senatorial bets endorsed by Robredo are also invited to the event.

January 29, 2022 - 10:18am

Makabayan coalition holds press briefing on their endorsement of the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. — Xave Gregorio

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