Jetlagged? Dela Rosa forgets PNP-suggested martial law time frame

Rambo Talabong
Jetlagged? Dela Rosa forgets PNP-suggested martial law time frame
'Kararating ko lang. Hindi ko pa alam kung ilang years ba 'yung kwan,' the visibly fazed top cop tells reporters, when asked why he favored an extension of martial rule in Mindanao

Was the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) not informed, or did he simply forget?

It could also be a case of jetlag.

At a news briefing on Tuesday, December 12, PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa could not recall the time period that the PNP had recommended for the extension of martial law in Mindanao.

He was asked about it just a day after President Rodrigo Duterte took the advice of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and asked Congress for one more year of martial law in Mindanao.

Kararating ko lang, Henry. Hindi ko pa alam kung ilang years ba ‘yung kwan (I just arrived. I do not know how many years [we recommended]),” a visibly fazed Dela Rosa replied when dzMM radio reporter Henry Atuelan asked him why the PNP was in favor of extending military rule.

Dela Rosa had just come back from a trip to New York City, where he attended an anti-terrorism conference. He went abroad on December 4 and was supposed to have returned just that day.

The PNP submitted its recommendation to Malacañang for  a one-year martial law extension on December 7, while its chief was abroad. The Department of the Interior and Local Government endorsed the recommendation.

The PNP chief then got back on his feet and said in the news briefing that the threat of terrorism remained in Mindanao. (READ: Duterte names obscure terrorist to justify extended martial law)

‘Yung threat of terrorism really is it’s not that simple, very complicated. Kahit na patay na lahat ng mga miyembro ng Maute-ISIS, still nandiyan pa rin ang ideology,” said Dela Rosa, echoing Duterte.

(The threat of terrorism really is not that simple, it’s very complicated. Even though all members of the Maute-ISIS are dead, the ideology remains.)

Dela Rosa added that terrorists have also intensified their recruitment online, using underground social media sites to add members among their ranks as they regroup and prepare to attack again.

The Marawi siege, the basis for the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, was declared over on October 17 after more than 5 months of fighting that reduced much of Marawi City to rubble.

The government has since shifted to rehabilitation. The police and the military cited the need for an extension of martial law in the region to speed up the recovery efforts. –

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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.