MANILA – Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa is grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for extending his term, saying he is aware that many are waiting in line to take over as the next PNP chief.
In an interview, Dela Rosa said he did not insist on holding on to his position upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56 last January 21.
Rather, it was Duterte who exercised his presidential prerogative by extending his term.
"Di naman ako swapang na opisyal. Gusto ko rin makatikim sila sa pwesto na ito. Pero, inasmuch as gusto ko silang pagbigyan, kung gusto ni Presidente na magpatuloy pa ako, anong magagawa ko? Si Presidente naman ang may gusto na magpatuloy ako sa aking trabaho," he said.
"Pagbigyan ko talaga siya, hindi ko siya iiwanan. Hanggang sa dulo ng walang hangganan, hindi ko siya iiwanan. Kung kinakailangan pa niya ang serbisyo ko, nandito lang ako."
The police official said he was ready to step down from service last January, but Duterte extended his stint as PNP Chief for another three months.
The PNP chief, who is a member of PMA Class '86, was supposed to retire last January 21 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56. His extended term was set to end on April 21.
The term extension came just weeks after the PNP returned to the government’s war on drugs in December 2017 and relaunched its controversial Oplan Tokhang in January 2018.
"Supposed to be April 21. Kung extend niya pa ako, he has until January 21, 2019, pwede niya ako extend hanggang January 21. Kung one year ang extension," Dela Rosa said.
"Alam niya 'yan na he can extend me up to one year, according to law ang basehan natin. Pwede niyang gawin 'yan. He is authorize by law up to January 21, 2019," he added.
In his announcement, Duterte hinted of missions that he tasked Dela Rosa to finish.
"Yung mission na 'yan? Mission na linisin pa ang PNP sa scalawags. Itong drugs, 'yan pa rin ang priority niya. Ipagpatuloy ko ang war on drugs. At saka yung problema natin sa terrorism at saka itong sa NPA," Dela Rosa said.
The police official said he is happy to know that Duterte still trusts him and has full confidence in him as head of the PNP.
"Tuloy pa rin ang paglilingkod ko sa bayan. Magta-trabaho pa rin ako kaysa naman wala ako gagawin," he said.
He added: “I am a good soldier and will do orders emanating from my boss. I am willing to serve him up to my last breath sa laki ng utang na loob ko sa kanya. Up to my last breath, pwede akong mag-serbisyo sa kanya."
He also said his becoming a PNP chief is destiny.
“Yung pagiging Chief PNP naman, that is destiny. Kung hindi talaga para sa 'yo, kahit na mag-insist ka, kahit anong gawin mong paninira diyan sa naka-pwesto, para lang makuha mo ang pwesto na 'yan hindi talaga ibigay sa iyo."
"Pero kung para sa iyo, andiyan ka lang pero para sa iyo 'yan, talagang, mapapasaiyo ang pwesto na 'yan. Destiny 'yan. Nobody can create destiny. It's only God who can create destiny," he said.