Angry Dela Rosa faces ‘narco-cops’: You’re shameful

Bea Cupin
'Gusto kong matunaw dahil sa nangyayari sa atin, nakakahiya,' says the PNP chief as he confronts cops with alleged ties to the illegal drug trade

ANGRY PNP CHIEF. Director General Ronald dela Rosa scolds cops allegedly linked to the illegal drug trade as he meets with them in Camp Crame on August 8, 2016. Photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – In his first month as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Director General Ronald dela Rosa has been known mostly for his charm, candor, and humor

But it was a visibly angry version of the police general that faced several of his personnel with alleged ties to the illegal drug trade on Monday, August 8. 

“Puwede n’yo akong patayin ‘pag civilian na ako… I am ready. Basta hangga’t ako chief PNP hindi ako papayag na kayong mga putangina nakikinabang sa pera ng droga. Putangina. Hinding hindi ako papayag. Hinding hindi ako papayag. Kahit na aabot tayo sa impyerno, hindi ko kayo aatrasan,” Dela Rosa told a handful of cops who showed up at Camp Crame in Quezon City after being named by President Rodrigo Duterte. 

(You can kill me when I’m a civilian. I am ready. But while I’m chief of the PNP, I will not allow you sons of whores to benefit from drug money. Son of a whore. I will not allow that. I will not allow that. Even if we face each other in hell, I will not back down.) 

On Monday, droves of politicians, PNP personnel, and members of the judiciary trooped to Camp Crame in hopes of clearing their names after they were publicly named by Duterte during a news conference early Sunday morning, August 7. (READ: Dead cop from Davao Region on Duterte list)

While Dela Rosa was calm when facing the mayors who had turned up, he was visibly irate when talking to the uniformed men, whose ranks ranged from Senior Superintendent to Police Officer 1. Having personnel involved in drugs, said Dela Rosa, is the “worst thing that can happen.”

“Galit ako, ‘di ba? Bakit nandoon ang pangalan ninyo. Bakit nga ando’n mga pangalan ninyo? Eto, prankahan tayo, gentlemen. Hinarap ko kayo. Sana lalaki kayong kausap. After this, kung dikit pa ang pangalan ninyo… papatayin ko kayo. Papatayin ko kayo,” said Dela Rosa. 

(I’m angry, okay? Because your names are there. Why are your names there? Let’s be frank with each other, gentlemen. I’m facing you now and I hope we talk man to man. After this, if your names are still tied to drugs… I’ll kill you. I will kill you.)

LINKED TO DRUGS? Cops listen to PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa in Camp Crame on August 8, 2016. Photo by Bea Cupin/Rappler

None of the cops who showed up admitted to being involved in the illegal drug trade. Several cops that Dela Rosa called out said they had, in fact, nabbed personalities linked to drugs. 

The cops’ names, said Dela Rosa, mostly showed up in reports from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which leads all anti-illegal drugs operations in the Philippines.

While Dela Rosa, like Duterte, is known for his tough stance against drugs, crime, and corruption, he is not the type to lose his cool in public. 

“Tayo ang dapat mag solba sa problema sa droga, tayo pa ang gagatong? Diyos ko, maawa ka Lord. Ha? Nakakahiya tayo. Gusto kong mag evaporate sa mundo, gusto kong mamatay. Gusto kong matunaw dahil sa nangyayari sa atin, nakakahiya. I am the chief PNP, I am leading the Philippine National Police with people who are involved in sindikato… walang hiya, Diyos ko,” he added. 

(We should be the ones to solve the drug problem, but why are we making it worse? My God, have mercy. You’re shameful. I want to evaporate from the world, I want to die. I want to disappear because what’s happening is embarrassing. I am the chief of the PNP, I am leading the Philippine National Police with people who are part of drug syndicates. You have no shame, my God.)

He challenged the personnel to a fistfight, but none of the cops answered. “Will this be clear to everyone? Huwag tayong pasilaw sa pera (Do not allow yourself to be blinded by money),” Dela Rosa added. 

While the politicians and judges named will undergo investigation by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the cops will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Service (IAS). (READ: FACT CHECK: One judge in Duterte list already dead for 8 years)

The IAS said the investigation will include checks on whether other police officials – higher-ups included – are also involved in illegal drugs. –

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.