MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday evening confirmed that he would appoint Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa as the next head of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Duterte confirmed this during a Christmas party with the Malacañang Press Corps.
Dela Rosa will retire as PNP chief in January 2018 and is expected to be replaced by Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, the PNP’s second-in-command.
The outgoing PNP chief earlier said the President would be giving him the “most challenging” position in government, where everyone else had failed.
In an interview Wednesday, Dela Rosa said he accepts the offer by his long-time "boss," seeing it as a way to help the country.
"He has been my boss ever since, and he is my boss forever. Kung anong trabahong ipapagawa niya sa 'kin, I'm willing to do it," said Dela Rosa, who was Davao City police chief when Duterte was Mayor.
Duterte had named Benjamin Delos Santos as his first BuCor chief but the latter left his post amid reports that illegal drugs continued to proliferate at the congested New Bilibid Prison.
The bureau is currently led by retired Chief Supt. Valfrie Tabian.
Reports that the drug trade persists at Bilibid had prompted the deployment of Special Action Force (SAF) personnel.
Dela Rosa is considered one of the President's most trusted men, leading the administration's much criticized war on drugs.