MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday advised her “mistah” Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to be more professional and mature as he takes on a new role as legislator.
“I really hope and have faith na mag-rise siya sa challenge as senator, dahil ibang institusyon na ang Senado sa PNP (Philippine National Police). I hope he will rise to the challenge, maging professional tayo, maging mature, let’s grow up. Napakaimportante ng mga trabahong dapat gawin dito sa Senado,” Hontiveros said in a forum.
(I really hope and have faith that he will rise to the challenge as senator, because the Senate is a different institution compared to the PNP. I hope he will rise to the challenge, let’s be professional, mature. Let’s grow up. Our work in the Senate is important.)
Hontiveros issued this statement when asked to react on Dela Rosa’s pronouncement that he would not conduct hearings as chair of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs just to berate resource persons and commit political grandstanding.
Dela Rosa and Hontiveros go a long way back as the latter’s late husband, Frank Baraquel, was a mistah of the former PNP chief in the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1986. Hontiveros refers to Dela Rosa as “Doroy,” a nickname used by his mistahs and their spouses.
Despite their bond, the two senators do not see eye to eye on certain issues, such as the government’s war on drugs and its push for the reimposition of death penalty.
Hontiveros, nonetheless, hopes Dela Rosa would be “fair” and “judicious” in performing his role as chair of the public order committee, as she filed a resolution seeking a probe into the death of 3-year-old Myca Ulpina in a police operation in Rodriguez, Rizal.
She also welcomed Dela Rosa’s apology for saying “shit happens” in response to Ulpina’s death.
Dela Rosa earlier said his first investigation as a lawmaker would be about Ulpina’s death.
“I am glad that Senator Doroy dela Rosa apologized for his remarks. With that settled, I hope the Senate can now look into the circumstances that led to this innocent child's death,” Hontiveros said.
In her resolution, Hontiveros noted that several children have died in the drug war, among them 7-year-old San Niño Batucan, 5-year-olds Francis Manosca and Mae Garcia, and 4-year-old Althea Fhem Barbon.
Rights groups have criticized Duterte’s war on drugs, where some 6,000 drug suspects have been killed, based on police figures which critics say are severely understated.