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Ronald dela Rosa named Duterte's PNP chief

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) chief of Rodrigo Duterte's administration will be Police Chief Superintendent Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa.

The president-elect's executive assistant Bong Go confirmed to reporters on Wednesday, May 18, that Duterte has chosen Dela Rosa.

Initially, he was choosing from among 3 names: Dela Rosa; Chief Superintendent Ramon Apolinario, Mimaropa police officer-in-charge; and Sr. Supt. Rene Aspera, chief of staff of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group.

Dela Rosa was told of his appointment earlier but refused to go on the record until Duterte's camp made the announcement. (READ: Duterte's 'Bato': Who is Ronald dela Rosa?)

Dela Rosa, who Duterte calls "Bato" – after the barangay where he comes from in Davao del Sur – served as Davao City police chief, leading Oplan TukHang (Tuktok-Hangyo), an anti-drug operation in which police would knock on the doors of suspected drug addicts or drug dealers to warn them of consequences if they did not reform.

Duterte has called Bato a trustworthy and diligent worker. 

Dela Rosa, meanwhile, has said the Davao City mayor was a great influence in his career.

In his birthday greeting to Duterte posted on Facebook, Dela Rosa said, “I never feared to enforce the law and prevent crimes because you are always there watching my back. To the greatest leader on Earth, Mayor RRD, happy birthday Sir!”

His perceived loyalty to Duterte got him into some trouble when he was sacked for a supposedly pro-Duterte Facebook post in which he warned against cheating during the May 9 elections.

A 1986 graduate of the PMA and native of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur, he is considered junior for the position of PNP chief, but the classes ahead of him, in particular Class 1984, are identified with erstwhile presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II. (Roxas is an "adopted" member of PMA Class 1984.) – with reports from Pia Ranada, Bea Cupin/Rappler.com