"Bring it on." This is Chief Superintendent and incoming national police chief Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa's challenge to drug lords who have allegedly offered 50-million-peso bounties for his head and that of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Dela Rosa, the incoming Philippines National Police chief, said the bounties were raised from the previous P10 million.
"As of yesterday, they increased the bounty to P50 million. P50 million for Mayor Duterte, P50 million for me. In-increase nila dahil nahirapan daw silang maghanap ng takers. No takers sa P10 million, so in-increase nila to 50 million," he told ANC's Headstart.
"Bring it on, really. Bring it on. O, mas malaki, 50 million. Okay, you come. Bring it on anytime—anytime of the day, any place. Bring it on," he added.
Dela Rosa said the PNP has already identified big-time drug lords allegedly offering the bounties. He said law enforcers are already planning their next moves against these criminals.
"Kahit na hindi sila mag-death threat sa akin, may action talaga kaming gagawin sa kanila. Dahil sa atraso nila sa drugs, may aksyon talaga kaming gagawin," he said.
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Dela Rosa, 54, said that once he is PNP chief, he will start ordering the relief of majority of police regional directors.
"Sa regional directors, halos lahat. There are 18 regional directors. Sa tinitignan ko ngayong listahan, baka isa, dalawa, tatlo ang maiiwan. All the rest will be papalitan talaga," he said.
The incoming regional directors then will be mandated to deliver peace and security to the people within three months.
"It can be a very violent war; it can be a bloody war," he said.
Dela Rosa said the drug lords they have to take down are moneyed and they flaunt it by buying out the services of the police, media, fiscals, judges, and prison officials.
"Literally, mababayaran nila 'yan dahil sa pera nila. So they won’t give up just like that kung papasok tayo. They have to fight it out with us. Kung ganun, talagang we expect fireworks," he said.
'NOBODY CAN INTIMIDATE ME'
Dela Rosa headed the Davao police from January 2012 to October 2013, and is credited for the Oplan Tuktok-Hangyo, where policemen knock on the homes of suspected criminals and warn them to stop their illegal activities.
He said Duterte wants to expand Oplan TukHang to the national level to address the small-time drug offenders.
The incoming PNP chief said they will take a different approach when dealing with the "bigger fishes" as they partner up with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).
"Iba yung approach dito sa taas, iba yung sa ilalim. So double-barrel approach," he said.
Dela Rosa admitted eradicating all crime in the Philippines is impossible but noted that he wants to reduce crime to the "lowest level."
"What I mean by lowest level, kami sa PNP, meron kaming gagawing target setting na kailangan within this period of time, you have to achieve these targets. If not, then papalitan ko yung commander," he said.
He also admitted that taking on the PNP post would mean some of his Philippine Military Academy upperclassmen would have missed their opportunities for the post.
"Mananalitili pa rin yung respeto ko sa kanila bilang upperclassmen. Tatawagin nila akong ‘Sir’ dahil ako ang Chief PNP; tatawagin ko ring ‘Sir’dahil sila ay aking mga upperclassmen ng PMA," he said.
And if he finds that these upperclassmen of his are involved in the drug trade?
"Pagdating naman sa bagay na ganyan, nobody can intimidate me—kahit nga pa si George Bush, o si Clinton, o si Barack Obama, they cannot intimidate me pagdating sa law enforcement," he said.