MANILA – Senator Panfilo Lacson believes Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa may have been overwhelmed by the 'fame and popularity' that came with his position.
"Kasi imagine, pupunta ka sa mall, pagkakaguluhan ka. Ang daming nagse-selfie, ano lahat. So siguro hindi na niya na-handle properly," Lacson, a former PNP chief, told ANC's "Beyond Politics."
(Imagine, you go to the mall then many people would want to have a selfie taken with you. Maybe, he failed to handle it properly.)
Calls for Dela Rosa to resign mounted recently in the wake of the kidnapping and killing of a South Korean businessman, allegedly perpetrated by police officers inside the PNP headquarters.
Critics also hit the top cop for attending the concert of Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams while authorities were still investigating the kidnap-slay of Jee Ick Joo. Dela Rosa argued that skipping the concert would not bring the Korean back to life.
Lacson disagreed with Dela Rosa's argument.
"Sabi nga natin, when your house is burning, uwi ka," Lacson said. "He's missing the whole point. That's not the issue kung patay o buhay. May problema, kailangan presence mo. Nandiyan ka."
(There's a saying - when your house is burning, you stay home. He's missing the whole point. That's not the issue if the Korean was alive or dead. When there's a problem, your presence is important. You are there.)
Dela Rosa has offered to resign twice following the incident but was rejected by President Duterte.
The senator said Dela Rosa should take advantage of the trust and confidence given to him by President Duterte. The President and Dela Rosa are known to have close ties, with the latter calling the former Davao City mayor "the greatest influence" in his career.
"Yung responsibility, dapat may commensurate authority. Otherwise, it's a sure formula for failure, kasi bibigyan ka ng responsibilidad sa balikat mo and then kulang naman yung authority mo. What can you do because you can't discipline your people, because tatakbo sa pulitiko, tatakbo sa Malacanang, tatakbo sa SILG for example. Wala kang magawa. So they will not follow your orders," Lacson said.
"Whereas tulad ni chief PNP Dela Rosa, talagang may mandato siya o meron siyang, sabihin nating influence sa commander-in-chief. Binibigyan siya ng leeway. So authority must be hand-in-hand with responsibility. So that's one."