General Dela Rosa on Martial Law: Sink or swim, I'm with Duterte
MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Monday guaranteed that President Duterte would always have his loyalty -- even if the leader declares Martial Law. "As I have said, I may sink or swim with the President. I'll go with him all the way. Whether we reach heaven or hell, I won't leave him," Dela Rosa said in a mixture of English and local dialect.
"If he decides to declare Martial Law for whatever, I'll support him." Dela Rosa, who has known Duterte since 1986, said he is confident that there will never be "an evil motive" behind the President's decisions. On the contrary, Duterte will always anchor his decision on the good of the people, he said.
"His decisions are not influenced by politics. His decisions are for everyone's benefit," the top cop said. (Kana iya mga decision karon wala nay pamulitika. Kana iya mga decision karon para ra sa kayuhan na tanan na.)
"It's not for personal gain. What else would he want, he's already old. He's not after fame, either; he's already the President. To gain wealth? No, he's not used to money... He just gives away whatever money he has."
(Dili na pampersonal na. Unsa pa may iya habulon tiguwang na man siya. Magpasikat pa siya sikat na man siya. Presidente na man siya. Mangwarta siya? Dili man na anad og kwarta. Wala man nay kwarta tawhana... Ug nay kwarta niya ipanghatag man na niya.) Duterte last week threatened to declare Martial Law in response to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno's letter airing concerns with the leader's move to name judges allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
Malacañang has since sought to allay fears of a second martial law in the Philippines. Duterte also said sorry to Sereno. Presidential Communications Office chief Martin Andanar said Duterte ''merely asked a rhetorical question and said it under the context that his anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice – PH style."
TIES THAT BIND
Duterte and dela Rosa have close personal ties.
"The Rock" was a young lieutenant of the Philippine Constabulary when he met Duterte in 1986. Duterte was then acting vice-mayor of the city. The two eventually became friends, with Duterte even acting as principal sponsor in Dela Rosa's wedding. In a Facebook post last March 28, Dela Rosa called Duterte "the greatest leader on earth" as he wished his "ninong" a happy birthday.
Dela Rosa also said Duterte is the greatest influence in his career. "I never feared to enforce the law and prevent crimes because you (Duterte) are always there watching my back," he wrote.