by Aaron Recuenco
Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said his first year as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was marked by a series of ups and downs, particularly the relative success of the war on drugs and the involvement of rogue police officers in illegal activities.
“It’s like one of the rides in the amusement park, the Anchor’s Away. It would suddenly go very high and would suddenly go down until you feel that your balls are being vacuumed,” said dela Rosa.
“That’s how I would describe my first year. You have to ride on it if you want to know how does it feel,” he added.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS
Dela Rosa said that the highs of his career as PNP chief are the times when he would go out and personally receive praises and expression of gratitude from ordinary people who cited and commended the national police force’s efforts to keep the populace safe.
The lows of his stint as PNP chief include controversial such as the abduction and murder of a South Korean executive right inside Camp Crame and the recent violent manhandling of local ordinance violators by two Mandaluyong City police officers.
“Wherever you would go, even abroad, they would thank you. And then you would go back to Camp Crame, only to find out that a South Korean was killed here that makes me feel like resigning,” said dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa, however, said he has no regrets so far, and that he is getting used to the challenges of being the PNP chief.
WINNING THE WAR
Dela Rosa likewise pointed out that the government is winning the relentless war against illegal drugs, a year after it was launched by President Duterte.
“If you ask me if I am satisfied, yes I am satisfied. We are winning the war,” dela Rosa stressed.
Based on latest PNP data, more than 3,000 suspected drug pushers and users were killed in various legitimate police operations across the country since the Duterte administration took over.
“The illegal drugs war will continue. We will live and die on drugs war, this administration will live and die on war on drugs. No retreat,” said dela Rosa.
A separate PNP data disclosed that a total of 12,833 murder and homicide cases were recorded by the PNP from July 1 last year to June 15 this year, with a total of 14,140 victims.
Of the figure, which is classified by critics as extra-judicial killings, the PNP data stated that 2,098 of the cases proved to be with motives related to illegal drugs while 2,535 cases are non-drug related.
A total of 3, 194 cases were already filed in court, wherein 1,810 of those cases are those with suspects arrested.
A total of 8,200 cases are still being investigated by the police.
DRUG WAR AND LOW CRIME RATE
The PNP chief said the success of the war on drugs can also be gauged by the significant crime rate decline.
He said that the crime rate dropped by 27 percent, compared to the same period last year or before the war on drugs was launched.
The PNP has been maintaining that the proliferation of illegal drugs is linked to crimes.
“Go out there in the street and talk to ordinary people. If they don’t feel safe, then it is our failure but if they feel safer now compared past year, then we are successful,” said dela Rosa.
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