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After resignation call, Alvarez gives Dela Rosa a chance

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Monday, January 23, that he is supporting appeals to give Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa a chance, just a few days after he called for Dela Rosa's resignation.

Alvarez acknowledged that the country's top cop faces a tough task, following the murder of a South Korean businessman inside Camp Crame, the headquarters of the PNP.

"Sasang-ayon ako doon sa mga ibang nagmungkahi na bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon si Chief PNP natin na ayusin 'yung mga gusot na hinaharap ngayon ng PNP... Alam naman nating lahat na hindi rin ganoon kadali 'yung trabaho, sa dami ng scalawags na naiwan ngayon sa PNP," said the House Speaker in an interview on radio station dzRH.

(I agree with the recommendations to give the PNP chief a chance to fix the problems the PNP is facing now. We know that his job isn't easy, with all the scalawags left in the PNP.)

President Rodrigo Duterte himself said on Sunday, January 22, that he still has "complete trust" in Dela Rosa.

Alvarez last Friday, January 20, called on Dela Rosa to resign after the PNP chief revealed investigators' findings that businessman Jee Ick Joo was abducted by cops and then killed inside the PNP headquarters. (READ: Murder inside Camp Crame: A tangled tale of crime)

But Alvarez still attended Dela Rosa's birthday celebration on Sunday, saying that their personal ties are different from their duties as public officials.

'Don't be comical'

Other lawmakers also urged Dela Rosa to clean the ranks of the police force.

Kabayan Representative Harry Roque pointed out that even if Dela Rosa quits, longstanding issues in the criminal justice system would persist.

"The problem will remain whoever you put there as PNP head because it's the institution that is not working," said Roque in Filipino. "I am hoping he'll concentrate now on the difficult process of rebuilding the PNP."

Ako Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr said the incident involving Jee is the "height of ineptitude [and] height of disrespect to law enforcement." Dela Rosa, added Garbin, should assess his demeanor.

"Huwag na iyong pa-kengkoy-kengkoy. Minsan hindi na po ata sineseryoso siya ngayon eh," said the lawmaker. (He shouldn't be comical. Sometimes he is not taken seriously.)

Citizens' Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Representative Sherwin Tugna, meanwhile, said the PNP chief should prove he is worthy of Duterte's trust.

"He should cooperate in the investigating body on the police officers involved in the murder of the Korean to prove he deserves the trust of the President," said Tugna.

Dela Rosa on Monday said there could be a "grand conspiracy" to weaken him and Duterte, which is now being looked into. – Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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