Palace sees nothing wrong with dela Rosa’s loyalty to Duterte

MANILA — There is nothing wrong with Senator Ronald dela Rosa’s loyalty to President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Friday.

Speaking to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it was natural for dela Rosa to support Duterte since they work on the same principle.

Wala namang masama doon kung suportahan niya (dela Rosa) si Presidente (There’s nothing wrong if he supports the President),” Panelo said.

Dela Rosa, a former police chief, has drawn flak following his remarks that he would “live and die” with Duterte.

His reaffirmation of support for Duterte was made when he was recently asked as to how the President’s tirades against ABS-CBN could influence his vote on the embattled broadcast firm’s bid to renew its 25-year legislative franchise.

Dela Rosa said he would vote according to Duterte’s stance on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

His remarks prompted radio jockey Czarina Balba, also known as DJ ChaCha of MOR 101.9, to ask the former to resign as senator and instead apply as Duterte’s bodyguard.

Panelo said dela Rosa’s statement should be respected since each one has different “personal sentiments.”

Siguro kaya niya (dela Rosa) sinusuportahan kasi pareho prinsipyo nila ni President on matters, subject na pinag-uusapan (Perhaps, he’s supporting the President because they both have the same principle on matters and the subject that is being tackled),” he said.

Panelo also noted that it was also possible for dela Rosa to go against Duterte, in case the senator’s views differ from that of the President.

Eh kung lumihis na sa prinsipyo niya, eh ‘di syempre kokontra na rin ‘yun. Ganoon lang ‘yun (If something goes against his principle, of course, he would object. That’s how it goes),” he said.

ABS-CBN’s congressional franchise expires on March 30 unless Congress and Duterte approve its extension for another 25 years.

About 11 measures seeking ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal remain pending before the House of Representatives.  Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos/