'Bato' to finish term amid speculation of early retirement

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2017 08:25 PM

MANILA - Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Wednesday said he has no plans of retiring early until President Rodrigo Duterte tells him to step down, ending speculation that he may leave his post early and give way to his second-in-command.

In a press briefing, the top cop said he would finish his term in January 2018.

"I cannot just give up my position without instructions coming from Malacañang. Mahirap naman na sabihin ko na aalis ako kasi gusto ko siya pagbigyan, eh kung sabihin ng Malacañang na you do not have to go, you have to continue your job, mahirap naman yung ganun hindi ba?" he said.

Dela Rosa said if it were up to him, he would give way to Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, currently PNP deputy chief for administration, because he deserves the top spot. 
"I would be doing a great disservice to the country kung iiwan ko na lang basta porke gusto ko lang siya pagbigyan. Honestly, I want him to be happy, gusto ko masaya kaming lahat at ma-satisfy ang lahat. He is also deserving naman to become the top honcho of the PNP," he said.

"Iyun nga lang, maghintay ako ng advice coming from Malacañang. Kung sabihan ako na pagbigyan mo, umalis ka na diyan, but kung walang advise mahirap ata 'yung ganun," he added.

In order to qualify and be appointed as the next PNP chief, Apolinario needs to have one more full year in service, and this could only happen if Dela Rosa retires this month.

Apolinario, a member of the Philippine Military Academy's (PMA) Sandiwa Class of 1985, is scheduled to retire on Aug. 31, 2018. 

By virtue of seniority, Apolinario was next in line to the top spot after then PNP Chief Director General Ricardo Marquez retired. But Duterte chose Dela Rosa, former chief of police of his home city Davao, to lead the country's police force, bypassing PMA classes '83, '84 and '85.