Dela Rosa calls drug war critics 'a bunch of ingrates'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – If you are a critic of the government's war on illegal drugs, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa considers you an ungrateful person.

Asked to respond to criticisms against the administration's drug war, the top cop told reporters in an interview that anyone who criticizes the PNP's war on drugs should be considered ingrates as they should be thanking the police for the benefits they now enjoyed in terms of better peace and order. 

"You can criticize us to the high heavens but I can tell you straight sa inyong mga mata, 'yung mga critics sabihan ko kayo, ingrato kayo. Alam kong nakikinabang kayo sa peace and order na idinulot sa ating war on drugs," Dela Rosa said on Tuesday, October 3.

(You can criticize us to the high heavens but I can tell you straight in the eye, you critics, I tell you, you are a bunch of ingrates, I know you also benefit from the peace and order brought by the war on drugs.)

The top cop made the tirade against the critics as the PNP continued to be hounded by questionable killings in drug raids, which sparked public outrage. In one case, the killings had led to the sacking of an entire city police force. (READ: Dela Rosa to sacked Caloocan cops: 'I am still very proud of you')

"Prangka lang ako: ingrato kayo. Sige lang, you can criticize us, wala akong problema....Ako naman, bebuwelta ako sa inyo: ingrato ka, mga anak mo sarap pumapasok sa eskuwelahan na walang kaba, walang takot dahil bihira na 'yung krimen sa kalsada dahil sa war on drugs, tapos ngayon tinitira 'nyo kami," Dela Rosa said.

(I am just being frank: You're ingrates. Go and criticize us, I have no problem....My response to you is that you're an ingrate, your children enjoy going to school without any anxiety, without any fear because street crimes have gone down because of the war on drugs, and then you attack us.)

Dela Rosa's statement is backed by data as all crimes – except killings – have indeed gone down ever since President Rodrigo Duterte declared the war on drugs and crime. (READ: Except for killings, all crimes drop in Duterte's 1st year)

Some of the victims of these killings are children and college students. (LIST: Minors, college students killed in Duterte's drug war)

"Alam ko, deep inside your heart nakikinabang ka sa ginagawa naming war on drugs (I know [that you know] deep inside your heart that you are benefiting from our war on drugs)," Dela Rosa said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ping Lacson said:  "I can feel his frustrations in the midst of the Kian, Carl and Kulot controversies confronting the PNP. I may not be supportive of such outbursts coming from the country’s top law enforcer but I’m willing to extend some allowance and understanding of such reaction to the PNP critics." Lacson himself served as chief of the PNP from 1999 to 2001. –

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.