Dela Rosa on Senate bid: ‘Don’t take it seriously’

Rambo Talabong
Dela Rosa on Senate bid: ‘Don’t take it seriously’
Top cop Director General Ronald dela Rosa says he wants to just 'relax' after he retires next year but he also can't turn down President Rodrigo Duterte if he wants him to serve the government in another capacity

MANILA, Philippines – A day after he said he was open to a Senate bid in 2019, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa urged the public not to take his words “seriously” as he really wants to “relax” after he retires next year.

“Please do not take it seriously, because Karen Davila was just insistent on me running,” Dela Rosa said in a mix of English and Filipino in an interview in Camp Crame.

In that interview, the PNP chief said, when asked about running for senator in the 2019 elections, “If I could be of help to the country by being a senator, why not?”

On Friday, Dela Rosa downplayed his supposed political ambition, at least for now. “I have no plans…of becoming a  senator. Wala pa ‘yan sa plano ko (That is not yet in my plan).”

Dela Rosa said that when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 in January 2018, he will go back to Davao del Sur, the province he calls home, and go “fishing.”

“I want to live a simple and happy life there. Sobra na ‘yung stress na narerecieve ko sa aking pagiging chief PNP, dagdagan pa ninyo ng tatakbo ng senator. Magrelax ako,” he said.

(I get too much stress from being PNP chief, and then you’ll add [the stress] of running for senator. I will relax.)

Ready to serve

However, Dela Rosa is not closing the door to a government position after he leaves the PNP, saying that he is “open to all.”

Hindi pa naman ako patay. Buhay pa naman ako, kaya kailangan open tayo for any possibility (I’m not yet dead. I’m still alive, so we need to be open to any possibility),” he said.

Dela Rosa said that because he “owes [Duterte] so much,” he is likely to follow the President’s wishes if he tells him that he should continue to serve the government after retirement.

He has been with Duterte since the end of the Marcos regime in 1986, back when he was a lieutenant and Duterte was acting vice mayor. They have been through a lot together. (Read: Duterte’s ‘Bato’: Who is Ronald dela Rosa?)

Alam mo naman ako, good follower ako. Susunod ako kung may order. Sabi niya, ‘Run,’ I will run. Sabi niya, ‘Walk,’ walk. Sabi niya, ‘Jump,’ jump din ako,” he said.

(You know me. I’m a good follower. I will follow if there is an order. He says, ‘Run,’ I will run. He says, ‘Walk,’ walk. He says, ‘Jump. I will jump too.) –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.