PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa broke down anew during Tuesday’s Senate hearing, asserting that there was never a policy in the PNP to kill, even innocent individuals.
“Magpakatamay kami para sa inosenteng tao. Mahirap naman sabihin natin na may policy na malawakang pagpatay. Andyan si Lord, nakikita niya. Alam niya. I’m willing to go back to Davao ‘pag na-prove niyo,” Dela Rosa said while in tears.
(We are willing to die for the innocent. It is not correct to say that there is a policy for widespread killing. God is there, He sees. He knows. I am willing to be reassigned to Davao again if proven otherwise.)
This was not the first time Dela Rosa turned emotional during a public hearing.
This time, Dela Rosa cried while defending the police force after Senator Risa Hontiveros quizzed him about the continuous rise of killings amid the government’s drug war.
The Senate public order committee, chaired by former PNP chief Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, resumed on Tuesday its investigation on the death of 17-year-old Kian Delos Santos in a police operation last Aug. 16.
Addressing Hontiveros, Dela Rosa said: “Walang sinabi si Presidente sa akin na pumatay kami nang pumatay. One-hundred seventy-five thousand policemen, paano ko dedepensahan ang organization ko na sarado na isip n’yo na may policy kami na ganyan?”
(The President did not instruct us to kill and kill. One-hundred seventy-five thousand policemen, how can we defend our organization if your minds are made up that we have that policy?)
READ: Bato: Kian’s death will not stop war on drugs
The police chief added that he is one with the senators, as well as the families of the victims, in their quest for justice.
But he said the lawmakers should also be one with the PNP in seeking justice for its men who are laying their lives for the drug war.
“Sana hustisya rin ng karamihan na pulis na nagtatrabahao. I’m grieving for majority of my men. ‘Yung buhay nila nakataya, tapos i-accuse niyo kami na may policy na ganon? Masakit.”
(We also want justice for the police who are doing their jobs. I’m grieving for majority of my men. They are putting their lives on the line and yet you accuse us that we have that policy? That hurts.)
“You know me personally, hindi ako papayag na gagamitin ang pulis na masama,” he said.
Hontiveros calls Dela Rosa her “old friend” as her late husband and former police official Francisco Baraquel is Dela Rosa’s classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). They graduated from the military academy in 1986.
The lady senator then explained to Dela Rosa that she believes in the PNP’s defense, stressing that in her public statements, she’s seeking accountability from President Duterte who ordered the police to kill suspected drug addicts and pushers. IDL