I do not understand why House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is now questioning Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa’s moral ascendancy to head the country’s police force after a Korean businessman was kidnapped and murdered inside Camp Crame.
“Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa should immediately resign as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to save President Rodrigo Duterte from further embarrassment and restore respect to the Office of the PNP Chief,” Alvarez said in a statement.
Yes, it is bad enough that the Korean businessman, Jee Ick Joo, was kidnapped and murdered by policemen, but what made it more damning is that the hapless victim was executed not far from the White House of the PNP chief inside Crame.
But does Alvarez think that by making Bato resign and replacing with another general will immediately solve the government’s bloody war against illegal drug and put in jail all the police scalawags involved in the now newly coined nefarious activity called “tokhang for ransom”?
There is no doubt that Bato has been committing minor indiscretions as if he was a showbiz personality, granting unnecessary interviews left and right, and, like what Alvarez described, “ doing mundane things like singing videoke and watching concerts”, but are these enough reasons to ask for Bato’s head on the chopping board?
In fact Bato finds the call for him to quit his post as “cruel,” saying he can’t even find time to sleep as he’s too busy solving the country’s drug problem and weeding out bad eggs in the police force.
I think President Duterte could not have found a better man to lead the country’s police force who is competent and tough enough to toe the line in accordance with what Duterte wants in his declaration of war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
Despite Bato’s minor screw-ups he has been ably doing his job and continues to have the respect of his men. Bato has just to change his ways now and not allow his popularity to go to his head.
But what people should realize, and I think Alvarez knows this, is that the extent and magnitude of illegal drugs, criminality and corruption in the country involving unscrupulous members of the PNP is so mind boggling that one can’t help but entertain thoughts about where this country could have gone if Duterte was not elected president.
It is not about Bato’s ineptitude. It is more about our collective moral obligation as people to help him instead of criticizing him.
Isn’t this the very reason why the exasperated Duterte talks about declaring martial law if and when he deems it necessary, come hell or high water?