MANILA - The Philippine National Police should have cleaned up its ranks first before launching the “War on Drugs”, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said in an interview that was released on a podcast on Aug. 14.
Dela Rosa, who was PNP Chief before becoming a senator, said an “internal cleansing” of the police force should have been carried out prior to the launch of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
"Yung embarking the war on drugs right away, right away without ah cleaning our ranks first," Dela Rosa when asked what he would’ve done differently
Dela Rosa, now a Senator, told podcast publisher PumaPodcast, that if he had to launch the drug war again, he would have purged corrupt members and officers of the police first.
"So I think... the best model should be ...nilinis muna namin yung hanay namin. Then after that, banat sa labas. Internal cleansing muna, then external war."
The podcast was released ahead of the third anniversary of the killing of teenager Kian Delos Santos by policemen.
The three policemen involved in Delos Santos’ killing were convicted of murder in 2018.
In the same podcast interview, Dela Rosa also said the War on Drugs has had positive results despite the criticisms from human rights advocates that it led to thousands of extrajudicial killings.
"Despite all these apprehensions, in general mataas pa rin ang approval rating ng ating kapulisan base sa survey so ibig sabihin nyan, mga pangangamba n’yan na-outweighed sila dun sa mga positive results na nangyayari sa ating Oplan Tokhang," Dela Rosa said.