If VP wants to be president, 'let Duterte finish first' – PNP chief

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is open to Vice President Leni Robredo running for president in 2019, but he has one condition: She must let Duterte finish his term.

"Sana tulungan na lang niya ang presidente, anyway, she will have her time, she will have her time pagkatapos nito...Kung gusto niyang mag-presidente, subukan natin siya. Basta patapusin muna 'yung buong administration ni presidente," Dela Rosa said on Monday, October 16 during the forum on World Pandesal Day.

(I hope she helps the President first, anyway, she will have her time. She will have her time...If she wants to be president, we can try. But she has to let the Duterte administration finish its job.)

Dela Rosa joins a chorus of criticism by administration officials and allies against Robredo, who has been slammed for rallying local and international opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte.

The administration has dubbed all forms of dissent as "acts of destabilization", with Robredo as the face of the supposed plot. (READ: Destabilization plot? Duterte says it's only 'publicity')

In a speech during his trip to Myanmar in March, President Duterte said Robredo was in a rush to become president

Among the government programs which Robredo has criticized is the popular but deadly war on drugs by the PNP.

In the forum, Dela Rosa defended the drug war and the administration it represents, stressing that majority of Filipinos still support Duterte.

Citing data from surveys, Dela Rosa said majority of Filipinos still back Duterte. (READ: Understanding Duterte's decline in SWS, Pulse surveys)

"Kahit mamatay mangisay sila dyan sa kakasigaw, ano man galit nila sa administration pero the majority of the Filipino people support the President. I don't think na kakayanin nila but then again we are ready. Andiyan 'yung ating PNP," Dela Rosa said.

(Even if they die and fall shouting, whatever anger they have against the administration, majority of the Filipino people still support the President. I don't think they can do it, but then again, we are ready. The PNP is there.) – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.