PNP chief Dela Rosa’s next target? Police with bulging tummies

Camille Elemia
PNP chief Dela Rosa’s next target? Police with bulging tummies
The chief of the Philippine National Police says the extra pounds are proof of lack of discipline and poor training

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa has a new target, and it’s neither illegal drugs nor gambling. It’s his men’s bulging stomachs.

Dela Rosa expressed frustration over the lack of discipline among policemen, especially rookies, during the second Senate hearing on the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos on Tuesday, September 5.

The PNP chief was responding to the question of Senate public order committee chairman Panfilo Lacson on the PNP’s long-term plans to avoid killings, following the death of Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, among others.

Dela Rosa then made PO1 Jeffrey Perez and PO1 Ricky Arquilita, the two Caloocan City cops accused of killing Arnaiz, stand up during the hearing.

“Just look at them. They’re both PO1 and look at their stomach. Kaga-graduate lang (They just graduated) from training,” Dela Rosa said.

“Hindi ko sila pinapahiya, mahal ko sila. Gusto ko lang i-express frustration ko (I am not shaming them because I love them. I just want to express my frustration),” the PNP chief added, saying that cops with bulging stomachs have poor discipline and training.

To address quality issues, Dela Rosa said the PNP should be given the authority to train its own members, as it is the Philippine Public Safety College that trains new policemen.

“Matagal na naming nila-lobby na ang training ibalik sa’min dahil sa buong mundo kami lang ang agency na ang nagte-training hindi police,” he said. (We’ve long been lobbying that we conduct the training ourselves because we’re the only police force in the entire world where training is conducted by non-policemen.)

Lacson, a former PNP chief, then asked Perez and Arquilita whether they started gaining weight before or after training.

The two cops responded by saying, “After training.”

Lacson then told Dela Rosa: “Hindi naman pala lumaki ang tiyan nila during the training.” (But their stomachs didn’t become fat during the training.)

Dela Rosa maintained, however, that it was a sign of lack of discipline.

“But ‘yung disiplina, made-develop sa training, hindi sila magpabaya,” the PNP chief said. (But the discipline will be developed during training, so they won’t become negligent.)

Lacson was PNP chief from November 1999 to January 2001. Under his watch, Operation Pot Belly was launched, requiring police to undergo physical training and exercise. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email