MANILA- Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa on Thursday revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted him to focus on security concerns in Mindanao during the extension of his term as police chief.
Dela Rosa, who is set to retire in January 2018, said Duterte wanted him to handle problems on drugs, terrorism, and the threat of the New People's Army in Mindanao during his extended term.
"Since I am from Mindanao, kailangan doon ang focus sa Mindanao kasi andun ang martial law sa Mindanao so that's the reason why inextend tayo," he said.
The President had earlier requested for the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year to quell the threat of terrorism. Congress on Wednesday approved the President's request.
Duterte on Wednesday also announced that he is extending Dela Rosa's term as police chief by around 2 to 3 months and would appoint him next as chief of the Bureau of Corrections.
Dela Rosa said the President informed him of the extension during a boodle fight.
"Nabilaukan nga ako eh, bakit ako na-extend eh," Dela Rosa quipped.
Dela Rosa is expected to be replaced by Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario, the PNP’s second-in-command. Duterte, however, remained mum about Dela Rosa’s likely successor.
The outgoing police chief also teased on a "goal" that President Duterte tasked him to finish on his extended term.
"Saka ko na sabihin sa inyo pag na-achieve ko na yang goal na yan, pag na-attain ko na ang goal na yan," Dela Rosa said.
-with a report from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News