Duterte defends Bato’s biopic: ‘It’s a tribute to a soldier of the Philippines’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has defended the film about the life of former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now senatorial aspirant Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
“People have preconceived notions about the timing of the movie shown. But you know it’s a tribute to an officer and a soldier of the Republic of the Philippines,” Duterte said after gracing the film’s premiere night on Tuesday.
“He is really what is being portrayed here in that movie. He has the balls and he has the heart,” he added.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins former Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Ronald Dela Rosa at the premiere screening of the latter's biographical film entitled 'Bato, the Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa Story' starring actor Mr. Robin Padilla at the SM Megamall Cinema 1 in Mandaluyong City on January 29, 2019.#ComfortableLifeForAll#PartnerForChange
Posted by Radio Television Malacañang – RTVM on Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Prior to its release, the film was met with criticisms as it was believed to be an election offense. However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that showing the biopic will only be deemed an election offense if it is shown from Feb. 12, or the start of the campaign period, and onward.
As Duterte’s first police director general, Dela Rosa had been at the forefront of the administration’s war on drugs from 2016 until his retirement in April 2017.
He was later appointed director general of the Bureau of Corrections.
If elected a senator, he said he would push for reforms in the police force and the restoration of the death penalty.
Aside from Duterte, Senators Koko Pimentel and Manny Pacquiao were also present during the premiere night at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. /ee
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