PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa has suddenly become the rockiest component of Duterte’s anti-crime drive


Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is perhaps in his most precarious position to date. News recently came out that a Korean businessman, Jee Ick Joo, was found dead within Camp Crame, after being kidnapped from his home.

Talk about this being a lucky break for President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics, in particular, those who criticize his campaign against crime and drugs. For the longest time, these critics, while showing concern about apparent abuses of police authority, and the lack of consideration for criminals’ rights, could not really gain any traction, or sympathy, from the public. Not even the hard numbers, several thousand dead, could convince the masses – they are only too happy to see perceived drug addicts and runners gone – that Duterte’s drive is wrong, unnecessary, or excessive.

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However, that a foreign national could not be kept alive, much less protected – inside police headquarters no less – is a rather harsh indictment of this campaign against crime. To be fair, however, Bato and Duterte, from the start, have faced an uphill battle: the odds have always been against them, not only because both narcotics and crime have protectors among the government and public officials, but also because they also have to deal with institutionalized corruption and depravity within the police’s own ranks.

Normally, when embarrassing failures like this come to the surface, Filipinos are wont to demand the resignation of the erring official. It follows, then, that Bato should resign, if only to demonstrate that Duterte’s administration truly is different – that major lapses, even among Duterte’s closest aides, are not condoned.

Practicality, however, must reign in any case, and the practical question to ask is: if Bato were to resign, who would replace him? Whom else does, or can, Duterte trust to carry out his anti-crime and anti-drug campaign?

Unfortunately, one of two weaknesses – a fundamental one of Duterte’s administration, in fact – has become inexcusable. The force of personality alone, especially with both Duterte and Bato, is not enough to bring about change. Campaigns that live on the force of the personality at the helm, also get weakened, and die, by that very same personality. Bato dela Rosa can be given the benefit of the doubt as to the sincerity in his desire to clean up the ranks of the PNP. However, he is perceived as doing too much public relations work, and being too much of a goofball in front of the media, when it is perhaps more desirable that he be stoic, less on media, and more focused on the anti-crime drive. This perceived lack of seriousness, and inability to shut his mouth when in the hot seat, is now turning him into perhaps the greatest liability of the Duterte campaign against crime. Perhaps it is an over-compensation on Bato’s part, for seemingly being Peter-principled into the position of PNP chief.

The other weakness, of course, should already be obvious: the instrument Duterte uses to carry out his campaign is its own worst enemy. Manila Times columnist Ben Kritz could not have said it any better.

Do we need to reevaluate the need for delicadeza in this particular case? Maybe Bato should be given a chance to redeem himself, and to show that he is deserving of the rank, by allowing him to catch all those responsible for the death of the South Korean. But no longer can Bato enjoy the confidence of the public, even among Duterte’s most ardent supporters, after this blunder. It is clear that the forcefulness of both Duterte’s and Bato’s personalities alone is not enough to whip the PNP into shape.

To cry foul, that Duterte’s enemies are inserting political color into this incident, is an invalid excuse. Of course Duterte’s enemies will do everything to win; their way of life is at stake. The enemy will go after your perceived weakness in order to diminish your ability and resolve to fight. That’s what war is; only the most resolved and strongest survive.

If Duterte and Bato can’t figure out how to compensate for their weaknesses, and how to stay focused on their end goal – to win the war against crime, then perhaps they do need to be replaced by those who can. Duterte and Bato need to show all Filipinos that they can break the cycle enshrined in this adage: “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It will not be easy.

22 Replies to “PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa has suddenly become the rockiest component of Duterte’s anti-crime drive”

  1. Police corruption like political corruption have been institutionalized in our country.

    An independent panel of concerned citizens, along with the NBI, should initiate the investigation of the murdered South Korean.

    The incident is deplorable. However, we cannot solve the problem of Police corruption by talking. Action can solve this problem.

    The deplorable crime, may have been done by enemies of Pres. Duterte, and PNP Chief de la Rosa…it is one way of ousting them both !

    And, put Leni “The Bobo” Robredo, as President. By then, our country will become worse !

    1. PNoy did not resign when that hostage-taking drama happened killing Chinese tourists. He did not resign when the Mamasapano massacre took place. In both incidents, he did not even apologize. There were others in the past administration who bungled all attempts to make a difference, eventually displaying zero credibility on the job. Now, we have Leni who is still the VP. De Lima is till a senator. Both, and many others like them, are clinging to their jobs and enjoying their salaries and perks paid for by the people. Truly they are like leeches sucking out blood of the innocent. And the people, both for and against the administrations, are going to demand for Gen Bato’s resignation, to save face? If every blunder committed by elected/appointed officials results in their immediate resignation, and not giving themselves the chance to correct that blunder, who will be left to save the country? For sure, the replacements would still commit the same mistakes their predecessors did and the cycle would just go on and on.

      There are people who do not learn from their mistakes and certainly are not deserving of second chances:. PNoy, from the hostage-taking incident (he then let Mamasapano massacre happen, without even apologizing for it); Leni (from her oft-repeated staging of protests and press cons against PDigong’s government, despite being a Cabinet member and supposed to be the President’s alter-ego (she was on vacation when Typhoon Nina hit her bailiwick hard and never attempted to cut her vacation short to be with her people for moral support); De Lima (from serious accusations of drug involvement, yet arrogant still, blaming the government for her “tarnished” reputation instead of defending herself against the charges and clearing her name.) I am not saying that Gene Bato has learned from this blunder that makes him the butt of jokes and blames, especially from his enemies. Only he knows. Perhaps. given the second chance, he could redeem himself and finally reform the PNP. After all, the author is right. Practicality should reign: who is gojng to replace Gen Bato that PDigong will trust? And who is going to replace PDigong if he is to step down?

    2. Yes dats wat im thinking too…kng meron mas malalaking tao behind all these problems hindi titgil mga yan hanggat hindi nila matanggal ang president at c bato sa pwesto…..hindi na cla masyado makagalaw eh….kaya lahat ginagawa nila…ika nga by hook or by crook mabalik cla sa pwesto

  2. To question who is going to replace who is not going to help when life and the Nation is at stake and wasting valuable time, the DU30 admin should have hired Mercenaries and put PMAyers on the Frontline way before when Espinosa was killed in Crane so what is their excuse now.

  3. War on crime? There is not such things. And since the war on drugs has started crime is sky rocketing in our Bohol province. Never before we had such number of house breaking, car napping, killing in broad daylight light in town, etc etc etc
    Police does as usual: Nothing.
    Was much better when drug addicts were doing their stuff between themselves in peace.
    When the Filipinos are going to wake up? The war on drugs is a smoke screen and so far the promised catch of high profile figure has not happen and will never.
    The rulers of the drug business are still at peace enjoying their high end life style…

  4. I still beleieve that there’s always rats and snakes. Even if you fed them with your blood. Why would Moralez push bait to resign? He has agenda and all that happened was like an orchestrated crime that was used to taint Bato’s position. This is just a plain scheme. Another one to outhrow our only means of cleansing the country. And FYI for the one above who complained that it is much peaceful if addicts and pushers quietly do their thing is such an idiot mind. You want them to quietly creep and hook innocent lives into their evilness much more become victims and killed. You have no bone to think of doing something to stop them. You only reply on government. What’s your contribution if someone’s killed I will want to think that the likes of you let it happen.

    1. The innocent lives taken into drugs are now being killed without any kind of justice or empathy but I guess it’s better for you as soon as it don’t happen in YOUR life/family/neighborhood….

  5. Of course the Yellow will sensationalize everything just to make Duterte look bad. The problem is the media and bloggers, even one like this gives the opposition a voice.

  6. War is a country of will, there’s no room for sympathy. If your not willing to give up everything…You’ve already lost.

  7. Duterte knows Bato better than most people. Let him be the one to decide whether or not Bato should resign.

    Duterte and Bato are not perfect, but they’re a lot better than the monkeys who used to run this country. It’s not like there’s a huge talent pool to choose from out there. We need to adjust our expectations.

    That said, Bato needs to stop his showbiz antics because it’s not helping him gain any respect.

    We also need to consider that the yellows are taking advantage of the “tokhang for ransom” issue to push their own agenda and to divert attention from the bashing of Leni Robredo.

    Kidnappings by police scalawags are not new, so why is this suddenly the biggest news in town?

    I did some reading and it seems the term “tokhang for ransom” started from an interview Leni Robredo gave last week. After that interview, it became the latest buzzword of the mainstream media for slamming the Duterte admin.

    Also, the name of Gen. Garbo has been linked to the cop who was arrested for kidnapping the Korean businessman. Wasn’t Garbo the top choice of Mar Roxas for PNP chief during PNoy’s time? Mar Roxas is the running mate and close friend of Robredo. There are pictures of Garbo at Roxas-Robredo election campaign activities last year. Garbo is one of the narco-generals named by Duterte.

    Is all this just a coincidence? Bakit sa Crame pinatay ang Koreano? Ang daming mas liblib na lugar, pero headquarters ng PNP ang pinili. Parang sinasadya. Whoever was behind the killing of the Korean businessman wanted to embarrass Duterte and the PNP.

    Bato should hurry up the investigation so the Korean businessman can be given justice and the mastermind can be arrested.

    We citizens on the other hand should not let Robredo, de Lima, and the other yellows use this issue for their selfish aims.

    Just like the EJKs, the yellows are not really concerned about the Korean businessman who died. They’re just making noise about this to hit President Duterte.

    Has Robredo the “people’s lawyer” offered her legal services to the wife of the victim? Has she volunteered to investigate the Garbo connection? Wala. Hanggang ingay at press release lang siya as usual.

    She needs to shut up and respect the dead. It’s despicable the way she keeps using dead people for her political ambitions.

  8. another fake news by the yellows. leni said: ‘ a spat between president duterte and the pilipino priest is bad for the philippines’? WHAT? it’s good for the country to get rid of all scalawags in pilipino society. PERIOD.

  9. This should serve as a learning experience for PDuterte and PNP Chief Bato. Criminality/corruption is deep-seated in the country, inside or outside the government and law enforcement agencies. It even took Digong 30 years to make Davao a safe fortress. So basically, national government/police is but an enemy territory for those who want to make things right.

  10. Only when the specter of death is placed on the doorsteps of the ruling and opposite elite will real change happen in the shortest time.

    Who remembers Joey Rufino crying before the tanks of BG Artemio Tadiar in the afternoon February 23, 1986 ?

    Who remembers Enrile terrified in that afternoon of February 22, 1986 ?

    I agree with DU30 that convicted criminals be hanged in public to terrify would be criminals. Reimposed the death penalty on heinous crimes and include heinous crimes committed by men in uniform and robes punished by public hanging.

    When people do not follow the negative form of the Golden Rule, let Lex Taliones be their fate. DU30 must be living the very tenet of his fraternity !

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