Critics jeer at Ronald dela Rosa, former police chief of President Rodrigo Duterte, while he explains his push for the return of the death penalty
By Pia Ranada @piaranada
Administration-backed senatorial bet Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa faced aggressive jeering as he responded to some questions during CNN Philippines’ senatorial forum on Sunday, December 2.
While all candidates, including Dela Rosa, were cheered by their supporters at various points in the forum, it was Dela Rosa who got the most heckling while explaining his push for the reimposition of the death penalty.
Dela Rosa, who is Duterte’s former Bureau of Corrections chief and Philippine National Police chief, wants death penalty for drug traffickers and corrupt politicians.
The first serious jeering he faced was when he was answering the question, “Has the President done enough to combat corruption?”
He responded by saying Duterte is to be pitied because he has tried everything to curb abuses by his appointees.
“The President is kawawangkawawadahil (jeering) – eh ayaw ‘nyomaniwala eh makinigmuna kayo sa akin. May nangyarinabanaPresidentena ‘yung bold na move naginawaniyanatinanggalniyalahat ng Custom (Customs) dahil gusto niyamagbago, linagayyungmgasundalo? Mayroonna bang nangyaring ‘yansahistorya ng Pilipinas? Wala pa! (The President is really pitiful because (jeering) – you don’t want to believe me, listen to me first. Has there ever been a President who did his bold move of firing all the officials in Customs because he wants change so he placed soldiers there instead? Has that ever happened in the history of the Philippines? No!),” he said.
The heckling erupted again when he mentioned his plan to file a bill imposing death penalty on corrupt politicians. Dela Rosa even acknowledged the negative response he was getting.
“Death penalty sa corruption dapat para mahinto once and for all – o ayawnanamanninyo? (Death penalty for corruption must be imposed to stop this once and for all – you still don’t want it?),” he said.
The reaction from the audience even led host Pia Hontiveros to remark, “Umiinitnaano (Things are heating up)” and then to plead with the audience to quiet down.
Even at the end of the forum, Dela Rosa’s critics in the audience did not let up.
They again heckled as he answered the last question, what would be the first bill the candidates would file once elected into the Senate?
Dela Rosa said his first bill would be one reinstating death penalty for drug traffickers, saying this is the way to stop the spread of illegal drugs.
Some of the hecklers could be heard shouting this: “Karapatan, ipaglaban, itigilangpamamaslang!” (Fight for rights, stop the killings.)
Dela Rosa had this to say about the necessity of bringing back the death penalty: “When you come to the crossroads on choosing whose life are you going to save, itongbuhayba ng thousands of Filipinos nakabataan o itongbuhay ng isang Chinese drug lord nasumisirasakabuhayannitongmgalibu-libongmgakabataan, pumilika, pumilika kung kaninongbuhayise-save mo. (When you come to the crossroads on choosing whose life are you going to save, the lives of thousands of young Filipinos or the life of one Chinese drug lord who destroyed the lives of thousands of youths, choose whose life you will save.).” — Rappler.com