MANILA—Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Monday apologized for calling those who called for the abolition of the country's anti-insurgency task force as "bwisit".
In a TeleRadyo interview, the senator admitted his remark was "inappropriate" and vowed to make a public apology to his colleagues in the Senate.
"I'm really very sorry. Very inappropriate 'yung nasabi kong bwisit. Nasobrahan 'yung aking emosyon, nadala ako, kaya mag-apologize na lang ako sa kanila. Maling-mali ‘yung nasabi ko kahapon," he said.
(... What I said was very inappropriate. I was overwhelmed by my emotions that's why I will apologize to them. What I said yesterday was really wrong.)
"Tanggapin man nila o hindi 'yung aking apology ay talagang taos-puso ko 'yang sinasabi sa kanila na I'm really very sorry. Sana mapatawad nila ako," he added.
(Whether they'll accept my apology or not, I will wholeheartedly say to them I'm really very sorry. I hope they'll forgive me.)
Dela Rosa also clarified his remark was not directed at members of the Senate Committee on Finance, which slashed the budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict from P28 billion to P4 billion.
The senator blew his top amid calls to abolish NTF-ELCAC, which has been previously accused of linking groups and individuals to the communist movement.
"Sabihin ko sa kanila—ito pangit pakinggan eh—pero bwisit sila," he said in a radio interview Sunday.
(I will say this to them—this will not sound good—but they're a nuisance.)
Dela Rosa questioned the call to scrap an agency, which he claimed to have been successful in tackling terrorism and insurgency.
"What can we do with the P4 billion?" he told TeleRadyo.
Slashing the agency's budget will be a "big loss" to the country's counterinsurgency drive, which Dela Rosa said was already at the "homestretch".