MANILA, Philippines – He will formally take over the 160,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP) on July 1 yet, but Chief Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa already has a plan on how to purge the country of illegal drugs, among the key campaign promises of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“We will call it Campaign Plan Double Barrel. Isang kalabit sa barrel, dalawang trigger ang puputok. Merong barrel na naka kalabit sa taas, sa high value target at merong barrel na tatama doon sa baba, doon sa mga street-level personalities,” Dela Rosa, Duterte’s pick for PNP chief, said in a chance interview on Wednesday, June 29.
(One touch of the barrel, two triggers will be set off. There’s a barrel that will target from above, the high-value targets. And there’s a barrel that will target from below, the street-level personalities.)
Dela Rosa, currently the Executive Officer of the PNP’s Directorate for Human Resource and Doctrine Development, will be leading the police in its mission to fulfil Duterte’s key campaign promise: to stop – or at least suppress – crime in 3 to 6 months.
His assumption is also likely to bring rapid and dramatic changes at Camp Crame. Dela Rosa told media “almost 100%” of officials holding key positions in Camp Crame and even in regional officers will be replaced.
Some new appointments will take place right away on July 1, the moment he is officially sworn into office. On July 1, right after his installment ceremony, the PNP’s top officials will gather for a command conference led by Duterte himself.
On the agenda for the meeting, said Dela Rosa, is the PNP’s anti-criminality and anti-illegal drugs plan.
Dela Rosa is no stranger to Duterte, who is known for his tough and sometimes controversial stand on anti-crime and anti-illegal drugs efforts. The police general, who was born and raised in a town close to Davao City, was also once chief of its city police force.
It was in Davao where Dela Rosa launched Oplan TukHang (Tuktok-Hangyo), an anti-drug operation in which police would knock on the doors of suspected drug addicts or drug dealers to warn them of consequences if they did not reform.
Most of Dela Rosa’s career has been spent in the Davao region. The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986 graduate’s first assignment was in Davao as well – the same year Duterte first joined politics.
Duterte has given Dela Rosa a “free hand” to pick whoever he wants to assign to crucial posts in the police force. He, however, declined to name who he would be appointing, to avoid heavy lobbying by politicians and “friends.”
Ricardo Marquez, the former chief of the PNP, formally retired from the service on Tuesday, June 28. Marquez was not due for retirement until August 2016 but opted to make way for Dela Rosa. – Rappler.com
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