It’s not too late for PNP chief Dela Rosa to redeem himself

MANILA — It’s not too late for Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa” to redeem himself amid calls for him to resign, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Sunday.

Calls for Dela Rosa’s resignation came after a Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo was reportedly abducted by policemen last year and eventually killed in Camp Crame earlier this week.

Dela Rosa also came under fire for attending the concert of Canadian singer Bryan Adams the same day the Korean businessman was killed.

Lacson, a former PNP chief, said that he knew Dela Rosa personally and noticed that he had “changed” probably because of “fame or popularity” but was hopeful that if he returned to his old ways, he would be able to recover.

“I think he would be able to recover,” Lacson said in a radio interview reiterating that the murder of Jee could serve as Dela Rosa’s “wake-up call”.

“I don’t think it’s too late for him to recover and refocus his priority and avoid what is not related to police work,” he added, describing Dela Rosa as “smart, unassuming, and humble.”

Lacson also stressed that Dela Rosa’s resignation would need an immediate replacement and that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself trusted Dela Rosa.

“I’d rather give him that second chance because if he decides to resign or is relieved from his position, will the institution be ready? Who would replace him?” Lacson said.

“His advantage is that aside from knowing his job, the trust the President has for him is very high. If he resigns, will the President be able to find a replacement he trusts to as much degree or magnitude?

He said that the issue was not that Dela Rosa attended a concert but that the problems of his institution should be addressed first.

“I said before that the number 1 problem of the PNP is the PNP (itself) so the solution should come from the PNP as well. PNP should prioritize internal discipline and everything will follow,” Lacson said.

The senator, however, said that courtesy resignation was still Dela Rosa’s call.

Aside from Lacson, other senators who thought it would not be necessary for Dela Rosa to resign include Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian and Ralph Recto.

Cayetano earlier said that he wanted to wait for results of investigation and believed Dela Rosa was doing a good job. Meanwhile, Gatchalian said Dela Rosa should work on redeeming the public’s trust.

Recto also urged Dela Rosa to clean up the police ranks dedicate more time to “disprove his critics and to show that he deserves his continued stay in his post.”

“But if you are not ordered to resign from PNP, then reform the PNP. Start with acknowledging that problems do exist. Then follow it up with an action plan on how to solved them,” Recto said.

He urged Dela Rosa to also consider a major reshuffle and ignore the political patrons of officers.

“Your motto should be: “Bato bato sa langit, ang matanggal huwag magalit,” Recto said.

“The bad press you’re getting is due to bad cops. Thus, it can’t be solved by diversionary tactics but by taking out deeply-rooted reasons,” he added.

He said the PNP should exert the same efforts in cleaning police ranks as it does in going after drug users and pushers.