President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's tough stance on drugs and criminality is to be carried out by an equally tough man who has this fitting nickname: Bato.
The incoming chief the Philippine National Police, Chief Superintendent Ronald Dela Rosa said he got the nickname years ago, when, after his graduation from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and they were thrust into scout ranging in Tanay, Rizal, he came back to Davao heavily muscled.
"Batong bato yung katawan ko. Pag-[return] ko dun sa Camp Catitipan sa Davao City, yung mga senior officers ko dun, nung nakita ako, sabi nila 'Bato!' Bato yung tawag sa'kin," he told ANC's Headstart on Thursday.
The tag was reinforced, he said, because he actually came from Barangay Bato, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.
"Tuloy-tuloy na yun. Hindi na nila ako nakilala as Lieutenant, Captain, Major, o Colonel Dela Rosa; but nakikilala na ako as 'Colonel Bato', ngayon, 'General Bato'," he said.
He added, even Duterte calls him Bato.
Though many were surprised the tough-talking incoming president tapped a one-star general as his top cop, Dela Rosa said he was not surprised at all.
"Ramdam ko na. Ramdam ko na, noon pa. Ramdam ko na, na trusted niya ako."
He said their closeness was spontaneous and that they similar in many ways.
"Parehas kami ng brand of leadership. Yung approach namin to certain situations, halos pare-pareho. Nagka-develop kami ng bond. Naging ninong ko pa siya sa kasal," he recounted.
This closeness, he said, spills into their working relationship.
"Hindi na kailangan ng kahit ng wink of an eye; nagco-communicate kami, parang mental telepathy pa lang, alam ko na kung ano yung gusto niyang mangyari. at alam niya na gagawin ko kung anong gagawin ko." he said.