Bato dela Rosa: Drug personalities return with a new unshaken confidence
MANILA, Philippines — Now that Rodrigo Duterte is no longer president, drug traffickers are empowered, putting the Philippines at risk of relapsing into a scary state.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the PNP commander during Duterte’s infamous and deadly “Oplan Tokhang,” revealed his worry about drug cartels and “ninja cops” returning.
In an interview, Dela Rosa discussed the PNP’s problems in the government’s fight against drugs and said law enforcement is at a disadvantage.
“Ang PNP, ang law enforcement ngayon ay nagiging biktima lang. Dahil nga pagalis ni Duterte, nawalan ng takot itong mga drug personality, bumabalik na naman sila. Kaya sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Double time kayo. Dapat ikumbinsi ninyo, ‘yung nawawalan na ng takot na mga drug personality na nagsibalikan na naman, ikumbinsi ninyo with your effort na talagang upakan ninyo ng husto’,” he said on Unang Hirit.
(The PNP, the law enforcement today are becoming victims. Because since Duterte left office, drug personalities have become unafraid, and they are returning again. That is why I said to them, “Do a double time; you must convince them, those daring drug personalities who have returned, convince them with your effort that you would quash them for good.”)
According to the senator, his information about the return of drug syndicates did not just come from regular people but city mayors who have reported that illegal drugs are coming back into their jurisdictions.
Dela Rosa, however, did not name any mayor. He also did not elaborate further.
He said he has spoken to Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos about the matter and that Abalos assured him that the PNP is taking action.
Recently, the PNP was directed to go after the root causes of illegal drugs, with Abalos pioneering a renewed illegal drug campaign.
Dela Rosa praised the ongoing efforts of the PNP, but advised them also to continue going after low-level drug personalities.
“’Yung approach natin na concentrate on the big fish, tama po iyon. Napaka ganda nun, concentrate on the big fish. Pero huwag rin nating kalimutan ang small fish,” he said.
(Our approach to concentrate on the big fish is right. That is very good. Concentrate on the big fish. But do not forget the small fish as well).
INQUIRER.net has contacted Abalos for his comment on the latest statements of Dela Rosa on the current administration’s campaign against illegal drugs. But this writer has yet to receive a response from the DILG chief as of this posting.