Politics after PNP? Dela Rosa leaves it up to Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa is retiring soon, but he is not closing his doors to public service.

The top cop is uncertain whether he will become a private citizen permanently or plunge into politics after his 56th birthday in January, the day he retires from the PNP.

"Handa na ako magretire. Kung bigyan ng another trabaho, hindi ko rin
pwedeng turn down si presidente, malaki ang utang na loob ko sa kanya
kaya kung sabihin nya 'trabaho ka muna habang presidente ako' then
willing to work under him," Dela Rosa told reporters on Monday, October 16, at the World Pandesal Day celebration.

(I am ready to retire. But if I get another job, I cannot turn down the President, I owe him much. So if he tells me to work as long as he is president, then I am willing to work under him.)

It is not clear whether Dela Rosa was referring to an appointed post or an elected position, but he has floated the idea of him running for the Senate since May 2017. (READ: PNP chief Dela Rosa 'open' to 2019 Senate run)

"Hindi po ako plastic na tao, ako ay gusto ko maging senador rin pero hindi ko sinabi agad, directly na ako ay tatakbo," Dela Rosa earlier said.

(I won’t be a hypocrite and say I don’t want to be a senator but I don’t say that I’m running.)

The next national elections will be in May 2019, with certificate of candidacies being filed by late 2018.

He said if he will be given "the chance" to step up, or if "the situation will call for it," he will continue to be in public service. 

"I am open for anything but sa ngayon wala sa isip ko 'yan. Nakatutok lang ako sa, pampulis lang itong buhay ko, hindi pang-pulitika. Trabaho lang muna ako then let us see pag retire ko," Dela Rosa added.

(I am open for anything but that's not on my mind now. I am focusing on my life as a policeman not as a politician. I will work first, then let us see after I retire.) – Rappler.com

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.