Indonesian police honors PNP's Dela Rosa for drug war leadership

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa was honored by the Indonesia National Police (INP) on Wednesday, February 14.

Called the "Bintang Bhayangkara Utama," the INP's Medal of Honor was awarded to Dela Rosa during a conferment ceremony at the Indonesian Police Academy headquarters in Jakarta.

"Thank you for this award and this will inspire me more to exert more effort in our drug war," Dela Rosa said, thanking Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, and INP chief Muhammad Tito Karnavian.

Dela Rosa said Karnavian vouched for him for his "rockstar-like inspiration" to Indonesian cops and for showing "how to fight the war on drugs."

The award came two weeks after the Philippine National Police (PNP) relaunched the controversial Oplan Tokhang, coming from a 4-month suspension from last October.

Indonesia's idols

LOOK: PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa receives the highest honor from the Indonesian National Police — the Bintang Bhayangkara Utama. — Rambo Talabong (@rambotalabong) February 14, 2018

The PNP is no stranger to the admiration of Indonesian authorities.

In September 2016, just months after the PNP launched its deadly drug war, Indonesia's National Narcotics Agency (BNN) head Budi Waseso joined the call for Indonesian police to adopt a Duterte-style drug war.

In July 2017, Jokowi ordered the INP to shoot down foreign drug suspects.

"I have told you, just be firm, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist [arrest]. Gun them down. Give no mercy," the Indonesian leader said, as quoted by the Jakarta Post.

The following month, Human Rights Watch reported, Karnavian himself said of drug suspects that “sending them to God” should be preferred over arrest and prosecution. –

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.