Duterte to extend Dela Rosa's term 'a little bit longer'

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, February 20, that he will be extending Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa's term yet again.

"Because he enjoys my trust and confidence, I will extend his term for a little bit longer, enough [for] reforms to get heard," said Duterte at a gathering of the Indian-Filipino community in Malacañang.

Back in December 2017, Duterte said he wanted Dela Rosa to stay in his post as PNP chief for another "two to 3 months" after the date of his supposed retirement in January.

Duterte did not state how much longer he wants to extend Dela Rosa's term. He had previously said that after the top cop retires, he would be appointed Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief.

The President said he is sure Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was "surprised" when he got Duterte's instructions for Dela Rosa's extension.

Duterte said he wants Dela Rosa to stay in order to ensure reforms in the PNP are implemented. He had previously said abusive police have tainted his war on drugs.

"I would need somebody still to continue with the reforms so General Dela Rosa will have an extended term," he said.

While Duterte described the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as "smooth," he said he might also extend the terms of some officers in the military.

"I will judge when the time comes also whether or not also I will give extensions to the others. Until the reforms take hold, I will still need the services of the guys now in their present position," he said.

Over the weekend, Dela Rosa hinted to reporters that he may get another term extension. He can get an extension of up to a year, or until January 21, 2019. (READ: Will Dela Rosa get another term extension)

Duterte previously extended the term of AFP chief General Rey Guerrero by 4 months or until April this year. After this, he wants Guerrero to become Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) chief. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.