MANILA - Some lawmakers are urging Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa to quit clowning around and focus on his task to rebuild the PNP.
AKO Bicol Party List Representative Alfredo Garbin said he is not asking Dela Rosa to resign, but the PNP chief must mend his ways, as these have a bearing on his leadership.
"Panawagan po natin, I'm not calling for resignation, I'm just calling for the PNP chief to reassess his leadership whether he can still call or command respect from his men kung makakapagtrabaho pa ba ang kaniyang mga tauhan sa PNP na naayon sa kanilang sinumpaan," he said.
Garbin also asked Dela Rosa to be more serious in doing his job.
"Sana po baguhin niya eh. 'Wag na pakenkoy kenkoy. Minsan hindi na po siya sineseryoso. Ngayon parang lahat na lang soundbites eh yun na lang po 'yung 'yun ang treatment sa kaniya. Kung natatakot sa kaniya yung mga opisyales diyan sa Camp Crame, a few steps away from his office doon pinatay eh, 'yung Koreano wala nang takot eh wag na pakenkoy kenkoy dapat 'yung what the PNP office really deserves," he added.
Garbin explained that the death of the South Korean inside the PNP's national headquarters put Dela Rosa's competence to lead the PNP into question.
"Well ako ang tingin ko riyan what really happened was the height of ineptitude and the height of disrespect sa law enforcement considering the crime happened a few steps away from the Office of the PNP director general, anong gagawin natin dito. I think General Bato has to reassess whether his leadership sa PNP still calls for respect, he still commands respect over his subordinates, effective pa ba ang leadership niya," he said.
CIBAC Party List Representative Sherwin Tugna echoed Garbin's sentiments.
"Ang personal belief ko si General dela rosa he impresses me as an honest and decent police officer bilang isang Chief PNP, so so much is expected of him," he said.
Kabayan Party List Representative Harry Roque, for his part, said Dela Rosa should focus more on his job and avoid publicity stunts.
"Naniniwala naman ako na meron siyang kakayahan para linisin talaga ang PNP binantayan ko po ang karera nitong si General Bato. Wala naman tayong bahid na narinig laban kay General Bato kaya mataas ang aking tiwala na kung siya magfocus sa trabaho, itigil na ang publicty stunts na 'yan, manahimik na at magtrabaho para iangat ang antas ng PNP kakayanin naman po niya," he said.
The lawmakers also criticized Dela Rosa for holding a birthday party at the height of the controversy.
"In reality tradition naman nating mga Pilipino mag-hold ng birthday party pero 'yun nga lang the Filipino people expect so much, mataas ang standard para sa ating public officers most especially kung PNP chief ka so halos walang pinag-iba yan sa pagpunta sa (Las) Vegas. Merong iniimbestigahang isyu sa Koreano, nanuod ka ng Bryan Adams (concert) halos in the same vein 'yan. He should be sensitive to the demands of the public service and to the people," Tugna said.
"Mali naman ata na magpaparty party pa at kung anong pang ginawa may ganitong kalaking problema. Kaibigan ko si General Bato. Sinasabi ko bilang kaibigan mayroon ding panahon na may dapat ginagawa dahil sa tawag ng panahon sana tinutukan na lang talaga itong problemang ito, in-avoid na sana itong pagsasayang ito bagama't di mo, masisisi konting sensitivity," Roque added.
According to Garbin, Dela Rosa should start firing cops who are involved in the "tokhang-for-ransom" scheme.
"The least that he can do right now is conduct a summary proceedings if that is allowed by the rules and the law and the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) to summarily dismiss this itong miyembro ng sindikato sa PNP those who involved in the killings of these Korean nationals. Kung allowed ng rules nila that's the least that he can do and then dismiss these involved in the killings of the Koreans," he said.
He added that the incident may have happened because erring cops were emboldened by the President's support for the war on drugs, even if it has led to some 4000 unresolved deaths.
"This is the product of the culture of impunity brought about by the unresolved killings in relation to war on drugs. Dito nakita natin na mga pulis na mismo ang involved in the guise of war on drugs, iba naman pala ang pinagagagawa," Garbin said.
For Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte should also watch what he says so that erring cops won't be emboldened.
"Dapat si Presidente hinay hinay din sa kaniyang pananalita kasi pag sinabi niya na at all cost babackupan ang pulis, tumatapang...kinakailangan ipakita niya na pag pulis mismo ang gumagawa ng krimen hindi niya tolerate at paparusahan niya ng pinakamatinding parusa itong mga pulis na ito," he said.
Calls for Dela Rosa to resign erupted last week after he admitted that Jee was killed inside Camp Crame.
Netizens took to social media to express their disappointment with the PNP chief with the hashtag #BatoResign.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also joined the call for Dela Rosa’s resignation “to save President Duterte from further embarrassment.”
Dela Rosa has previously said he is willing to leave his post if Duterte orders him to do so.
Duterte, however, said he will retain Dela Rosa as PNP chief despite calls for his resignation.
Duterte said Dela Rosa still enjoys his “complete trust”