Incoming PNP chief to corrupt police: You have 6 months

Pia Ranada
Incoming PNP chief to corrupt police: You have 6 months
Ronald dela Rosa is already creating a list of police involved in drug crimes

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – “Six months, dapat maubos na sila (they should be decimated),” said Rodrigo Duterte’s top choice for police chief PCSupt Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa about police involved in drug-related crimes.

Mensahe ko sa kanila is, maghintay na lang kayo. It’s either mag-surrender sila sa kanilang mga unit commanders at voluntary sila magsabi na ‘Sir ako po ay user, protector, magbagong-buhay na ako, Sir,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday, June 2. 

(My message to them is, you just wait. It’s either they surrender to their unit commanders and say, ‘Sir, I am a user, protector, but I will reform.)

If they don’t surrender, Dela Rosa said he would take them out of the police force.

Lilinisin ko ang pulis ko. Tatanggalin ko kung sino kailangan tanggalin,” he said. (I have to clean the police force. I will take out anyone who needs to be taken out.)

Dela Rosa estimated that around 1% of the 160,000-strong police force is involved in drug crimes.

Those who will promise to reform will be sent to a “reformatory unit.”

Ilalagay ko sila sa isang unit na magiging reformatory unit para magbagong buhay sila,” said Dela Rosa. (I will put them in a reformatory unit so they can change their lives.)

His purge of tainted policemen would affect all aspects of the police force, starting with regional directors and directorates. His first order of business, he said, would be to hand a list of police he wants out to the director of personnel.

Halos lahat, from the directorate at saka ‘yung regional directors. Simultaneous ‘yan. Pag-upo ko, may listahan ako na ibibigay ko sa director of personnel,” said Dela Rosa.

(Almost all, from the directorate to the regional directors. It will be simultaneous. Once I assume office, I will give the director of personnel a list.)

Outside Crame

The incoming police chief also plans to spend most of his first 3 to 6 months in office outside Camp Crame “supervising field commanders.” 

He would entrust Camp Crame to his deputy of administration.

Aside from cleaning the ranks of the police, Dela Rosa plans to implement Davao City’s Oplan TokHang on a national scale. The operation involves knocking on the doors of drug addicts and pushers to “plead” with them to reform or else face the consequences.

At the local level, police stations will be ordered to implement the plan in the barangays under their jurisdiction to reduce both demand and supply.

At the national level, agencies like the Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will focus on reducing the supply of drugs.

But while drug pushers and drug lords would incur punishment, Dela Rosa said users, like the youth who died allegedly of a drug overdose at the Closeup Forever Summer concert, are “victims.”

Hindi ‘yan puwede upakan. Aalagaan natin ‘yan. Mayroon tayong mga programa, mag-coordinate tayo sa mga eskuwelahan ‘pag hindi natin sila makausap at the barangay level,” he said.

(You can’t beat them up. We have to take care of them. We will have a program to coordinate with schools if we can’t reach out to them at the barangay level.)

Dela Rosa knows he is under a lot of pressure to help fulfill Duterte’s promise of suppressing crime and drugs in 3 to 6 months.

He has already begun preparing for the job by coordinating the transition process with current PNP chief General Ricardo Marquez.

“I’ve been reporting to his office two times already. It took us about half day to discuss everything. He wanted a smooth transition without glitches. So far so good,” he said.

Marquez’ team and Dela Rosa’s have already been discussing the hand-over of responsibilities in preparation for the change of guard. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at