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.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 22, 2021 - 8:17pm

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

October 22, 2021 - 8:17pm

Former senator Bongbong Marcos, a presidential aspirant, flew to Cebu to pay a courtesy visit to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia at the capitol, The Freeman reports.

Marcos was accompanied by Rep. Duke Frasco (Cebu 5th district).

October 22, 2021 - 3:57pm

Vice President Leni Robredo picks labor leader Sonny Matula to complete her Senate slate for the 2022 national elections.

"Malinaw ang track record ni Attorney Sonny sa paglaban para sa karapatan ng mga manggagawang Pilipino. Humarap siya sa mga malalaking korporasyon, na ang tanging sandata ay paninindigan at husay sa abogasya," Robredo says.

October 20, 2021 - 4:21pm

Laban ng Masa Chairperson Walden Bello is running for vice president as Partido ng Lakas ng Masa presidential candidate Ka Leody De Guzman's running mate, Laban ng Masa announces Wednesday.

According to the announcement, Bello filed his certificate of canddiacy and will replace Raquel Castillo as PLM's vice-presidential canddiate. 

"Bello, a former member of the House of Representatives, is an internationally renowned expert in development and economics and a legendary activist against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos," Laban ng Masa says.

"He is teaming up with presidential candidate Ka Leody de Guzman to forward a comprehensive agenda not just for regime change but also systemic change," Laban ng Masa also says.

October 8, 2021 - 4:40pm

Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa files his certificate of candidacy for president under PDP-Laban.

He is running alongside Sen. Bong Go, who earlier filed his COC for vice president.

October 8, 2021 - 4:03pm

Through a representative, Sen. Richard Gordon files his certificate of candidacy, gunning for reelection in the 2022 polls. 

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