SANTA BARBARA, Iloilo – Outgoing Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa has urged his successor, National Capital Region Police Office chief Oscar Albayalde, to continue the fight against illegal drugs.
“'Yung challenge ko sa kaniya, continue the fight. The fight is not yet over at 'yun nga, huwag niyang kalimutan ang organisasyon. Mahalin niya ang kaniyang mga tauhan,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa and Albayalde were in Poblacion here Friday night to visit the wake of Brigadier General Manuel Trece Robles, their classmate in the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986.
In an interview, Dela Rosa highlighted the PNP’s war on drugs as one of his accomplishments.
“Masasabi ko talaga na isa ‘yun sa malaking accomplishments natin-- ang no holds barred response to the drug problem in the Philippines. Talagang kami lumaban, hindi tulad na lumalaban noon na nakatali ang isang kamay. Ngayon, talagang dalawang kamay 'yung lumalaban. Talagang full force and in full conviction,” he said.
Dela Rosa said he would be taking some time to rest to prepare himself for his new post as chief of the Bureau of Corrections. He is set to retire from police service on April 21.
Albayalde declined to comment on his impending appointment as the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.
But he said Thursday that he would continue with the drug war, saying it has improved the country's peace and order situation.
"Definitely, we will continue on with our Oplan Double Barrel and Oplan Tokhang because we know that there is very substantial improvement on our peace and order particularly in the NCR (National Capital Region)," said Albayalde.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that he has chosen Albayalde to replace Dela Rosa, citing his quality as a strict police official.
Albayalde has been known to sack police officers caught sleeping on the job in his surprise rounds of police precincts.
As Metro Manila police chief, Albayalde has defended the drug war, denying that police officers were behind summary killings and that the force had a quota on the number of suspects slain in operations.
Roughly 4,000 drug suspects who police said had resisted arrest have been slain in anti-drug operations. The administration has repeatedly denied that it was behind summary executions.
Earlier this year, the PNP relaunched Oplan Tokhang after a suspension of operations over controversial deaths. The force released fresh guidelines in its implementation, limiting its house-to-house "knock and plead" operations to daytime and barring officers from engaging hostile suspects.